Filipino woman accused of beating 3-year-old boy to death in South Korea

A handout photo. The South Korean and American flags fly next to each other at Yongin, South Korea, Aug 23, 2016.
PHOTO: Reuters via US Army

A 30-year-old woman from the Philippines accused of beating a three-year-old boy to death has been arrested in South Korea, police said on Monday (Sept 6).

The victim was one of two sons, the other aged seven, of a United States Forces Korea service member who had reportedly asked the woman to briefly look after his children.

The woman, whose name was not released to the public, is accused of beating the younger boy to death around 7.30am on Sunday (Sept 5), in a room provided for her by the bar at which she worked in Pyeongtaek – a city south of Seoul that is home to a large concentration of US troops. The older boy was unharmed.

“She was spotted wandering around in the street stark naked,” a senior Pyeongtaek police officer told the South China Morning Post.

“When questioned, she was talking quite incoherently. We suspect she is suffering from a mental illness or some substance-related disorder.”

The investigator said an initial drug test on the woman – who had previously been married to a Korean but was now divorced and was in the country legally – had come back negative, but urine and hair samples had been sent for forensic analysis and further testing.

An autopsy of the victim had also been ordered to determine the exact cause of death, he said.

Police were alerted to the crime by the bar’s owner, who found the boy’s body around 8am on Sunday. A search for the woman was then launched, but soon called off after police discovered she had already been taken into custody following reports of her roaming the streets in a state of undress.

About 28,500 US soldiers, sailors, aviators and Marines are stationed in South Korea.

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This article was first published in South China Morning Post.