The mom of three suspects charged with murdering a South Korean girl, who was crushed and starved in Georgia by members of a spiritual group known as the ‘Troopers of Christ,’ has been arrested in reference to the girl’s dying, authorities stated.
The sufferer, 33-year-old Seehe Cho, weighed roughly 70 kilos when she was found within the trunk of a automobile parked exterior of Jeju Sauna, a well-liked South Korean spa positioned in Duluth, about 25 miles north of Atlanta, the Gwinnett County Police Division stated in a information launch.
Two days after her physique was discovered, police stated six folks had been arrested and charged with felony homicide, false imprisonment, tampering with proof and concealing the dying of one other.
Mihee Lee, the mom of three of the suspects, was arrested on Wednesday on fees of felony homicide, false imprisonment, tampering with proof and concealing the dying of one other, and false statements, court docket paperwork present.
The preliminary investigation final month led to the arrest of six folks, together with Eric Hyun, 26; Gawom Lee, 26; Joonho Lee, 26; Hyunji Lee, 25; and Juoonhyum Lee, 22. One of many arrested people is a 15-year-old, police stated. CNN shouldn’t be naming the juvenile who has been charged as an grownup.
The sufferer is believed to have been subjected to beatings and malnourishment for weeks, the division stated. Detectives imagine the girl moved to the US from South Korea in the course of the summer time of this yr “for the aim of becoming a member of a spiritual group,” Gwinnett County police stated.
In September, police launched photographs of the basement that seem to indicate a storage room with laundry and different provides neatly organized on cabinets. The carpet of the room has massive areas of blood, which have been redacted within the photographs offered by the division, CNN beforehand reported.
In September, officers discovered the sufferer in a automobile Hyun had parked in a parking zone. Police stated he acquired picked up by a member of the family, whom he requested to retrieve one thing from his automobile. When the member of the family discovered Cho’s physique within the trunk, they known as 911, police stated.
Authorities then searched a house related to that automobile and allege the members of the ‘Troopers of Christ’ non secular group beat and stored Cho within the residence till her dying. They didn’t specify when she doubtless died.
In a press release to CNN on Wednesday, Hyun’s lawyer stated his shopper was a sufferer of the “Lee household and their non secular extremism.”
The lawyer, David Boyle, additionally stated Hyun and the sufferer had been making an attempt to flee from the group, including if his shopper had not escaped, “he would have additionally died.” He claims Hyun was recruited to hitch the ‘Troopers of Christ’ group by the identical suspect who allegedly recruited Cho.
Kenneth Sheppard, an lawyer for Hyunji Lee, informed CNN he requested a preliminary listening to for his shopper.
Attorneys for 3 of the opposite suspects didn’t reply when contacted by CNN for remark. CNN was unable to find attorneys for the remaining two suspects.
Hyun’s lawyer stated his shopper was tortured as a part of the group’s non secular rituals and suffered “intensive accidents” and may “barely stroll.” Hyun spent two weeks at a hospital in Atlanta and was then booked right into a county jail, the place he continues to be handled within the jail’s medical wing.
“Eric can barely stroll,” his lawyer stated.
On Wednesday, police confirmed Hyun was booked into the jail after being launched from the hospital.
A spokesperson for the Gwinnett Police Division stated they’re “conscious of the allegations” made by Hyun’s lawyer and stated the investigation stays ongoing.