Police are searching for an urn containing the ashes of the late actress Choi Jin-sil, which was reported “stolen” from her tomb Saturday morning.
According to the Yangpyeong Police Station, a janitor at the cemetery in Yangsuri, Gyeonggi Province, found flowers littered around Choi’s tomb, the tomb broken into and the urn missing.
“The seven centimeter-thick stone tomb had a hole in it, presumably made with a hammer. It seems to have been a premeditated plan,” a police officer said.
It is presumed that the crime took place between 6 p.m. Friday night and early Saturday, after watchmen had left the premises.
The police suspect ardent fans, mentally ill people or a crime ring. Similar crimes are seen quite commonly around the world ― keepsakes of Elvis Presley, James Dean and others are frequently reported missing and sold for high prices on black markets. The bereaved family members of the late pop star Michael Jackson have reportedly refused to disclose the location of his burial fearing a similar incident.
Police asked the National Scientific, Criminal and Investigation Laboratory to look for fingerprints and possible DNA traces on liquor bottles left at the scene. Surveillance videotapes of nearby highways will be studied to check traffic to the facility, the police said.
The mother of the late actress urged the criminal to return the urn. “Can’t you let the poor thing rest in peace? My heart is torn into thousand pieces,” she said.
Internet users complained about “mismanagement” at the cemetery. “The surveillance camera inside the facility was broken at the time and security wasn’t thorough enough to prevent the incident. It makes me feel that we have killed the last memory of her,” blogger Fiancae said.
Choi was often dubbed as “Korea’s sweetheart” throughout her 20-year acting career.
She committed suicide on Oct. 2 last year at her house in southern Seoul. The police concluded the actress had hung herself out of depression following numerous groundless rumors that she had lent money to the late actor Ahn Jae-hwan, who killed himself last September allegedly due to snowballing debt. (Korea Times)