Fugitive South Korea Ferry Owner Found Dead
South Korean police said Tuesday that a badly decomposed body found surrounded by liquor bottles in a field last month was that of a fugitive billionaire businessman blamed for April’s ferry disaster that killed more than 300 people. Local police station chief Wu Hyung-ho told a news conference that the body was found in a field of apricot trees in the southern city of Suncheon on June 12. He said DNA and fingerprint samples taken from the body matched those of the wanted man, Yoo Byung-eun. Wu said the body had decayed beyond recognition when it was found and a more thorough examination was needed to find how and when he died. An initial investigation showed there was no evidence that he was murdered. Police and prosecutors had been seeking Yoo since May and had offered a $500,000 reward for tips about him. They believe Yoo was the owner of the ferry and that his alleged corruption may have contributed to its sinking.
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