There seems to be so much depressing publicity with regard to the Police in Malaysia that I am trying hard to find good news to post on this blog. As I surf, I chanced upon the story of Yang Ji-seung, a nine year old Korean schoolgirl who went missing on 13 March 2007. She was missing over a month and the publicity surrounding her case prompted the Korean Police to initiate the Amber Alert. Alas, the little girl was later found dead. This news posted on the website of the Korean National Police Agency here that puts our own police to shame:
The National Police Agency signed an agreement with Seoul City and the Ministry of Construction and Transportation on April 9th to adopt and implement the AMBER Alert system for missing children.
Named after Amber Hagerman, who was abducted and murdered in Texas in 1996, the AMBER Alert system notifies the general public about a missing children by various media outlets such as signboards and mobile phones.
The first Korean case using the system is that of 9-year-old Yang Ji-seung, last seen on Jeju Island on March 16th. Relevant data was posted along some 50 roads and on 3,000 subway signboards nationwide.
The news of the little girl’s disappearance was widely reported by the Korean media including KBS Global here. As I dig further I find this depressing bit of news posted in The Korea Times:
By Bae Ji-sook
Yang Ji-seung, the elementary girl reported missing last month on Cheju Island, was found dead Wednesday, Cheju’s Sogwipo Police said Wednesday.The police found Yang’s body double wrapped in vinyl in a trash dump next to a public toilet. The accused murderer is a gardener from near Yang’s house. He allegedly lured the girl to him by asking her to read something for him, saying he was illiterate.
Song, 49, with 20 criminal convictions, said that he strangled her after molesting her because he was afraid he would be punished again. He has already spent time in Cheongsong Correctional Facility, being released in 2004 for an attempted child kidnapping.
“We tried everyway to find the body, but since the toilet smell was so strong, the sniffer dogs weren’t able to track it down,” a police officer said.
Yang was in the third grade of elementary school. She was on her way home from a “hagwon,” a private learning institute, on March 16, when she was abducted. Since then, many of the island’s residents joined in a search for her.
I am a self-confessed addict of Korean dramas and movies, especially those involving my favourites Bae Yong-jun and Choi Ji-woo. With regard to the proposal to do a movie on Nurin’s abduction and murder please read this heartfelt plea written by a English teacher at Wolgye Middle School in Kwangju published in The Korea Times here. Please, don’t ever make a movie about Nurin!:
By Choi Tae-hwan
“Where is my daughter? What are you saying? Is my daughter there? No! I thought she followed you down to the parking lot to get a bowling ball. No way! She was not with me on the way to the parking lot. I can’t find her at all. Where is she? Let’s look for her around here and also outside. I’ll go down the main street to check. Why don’t you hurry down to the back parking lot. Go! Go!” My wife and I almost went insane while running around the bowling lounge and near vicinity frantically shouting our daughter’s name, who at the time was only four years old. When I went down the stairs from the second floor, I had not noticed my daughter following me. On the way down the stairs, my daughter couldn’t catch up with me, so in the blink of an eye she went outside to the main street from the opposite side of the parking lot. It seemed to me to take forever to get around the building to the main street until I finally found my daughter sitting in front of a restaurant on the other side of the same building. How can I forget such a terrible five-minute “nightmarish’’ moment of thinking my daughter had gone missing? Nobody can imagine how horrific the experience is for a parent until you actually go through it yourself.
Have you seen the movie, “His Voice?’’ This is a movie offering a reward for the arrest of a kidnapper and murderer based on the real kidnapping and murder case of Lee Hyung-ho, a nine year old boy who was found dead in a sewer after 44 days of threatening phone calls from the kidnapper 15 years ago. “I couldn’t get drunk even if I drink a lot because I’m out of my mind thinking about the kidnapping and murder of my son, Hyung-ho, who is now in heaven. How can I ever forgive his murderer who is now leading his normal life?’’
Have you ever heard of the “Amber Alert?’’ This system was introduced by the government in order to find missing children by spreading information about them and kidnappings through traffic broadcasts, cell phones, electric signboards, radio broadcasting on highways, subways, and in every nook and cranny of the country. It is true that this system, “Amber Alert,’’ was so named after the nine-year old girl Amber Hangerman who was kidnapped and murdered in Texas in 1996. This system has been adopted in 49 states in the U.S. and is said to have helped recover 311 kidnapped children.
“Yang Ji-seung, a 135 cm tall boy with short hair and square glasses, wearing a brown sweatshirt and carrying a blue schoolbag, disappeared in front of his house after getting dropped off by a private piano institute’s bus on March 16, 2007.’’? Being the first such case in Korea occurring with the new Amber Alert system in place, detailed information involving the disappearance of Yang was immediately posted on all types of electric signboards in every corner of the country and on the Internet site of the missing children center, http://www.182.go.kr, as well as on 3,311 signboards at subway stations and 449 along highways. Information regarding missing children is also sent to all cell phones.
Recently, it was known that during 2006, of five children that were kidnapped, four were rescued but one was killed, and during 2005, two children were kidnapped with one killed and one saved. This year it has been reported that there are lots of copycat kidnappings that have occurred after the movie “His Voice’’ was released across the country. (Please click on title for the full story)