The mom of three suspects charged with murdering a South Korean girl, who was overwhelmed and starved in Georgia by members of a spiritual group referred to as the ‘Troopers of Christ,’ has been arrested in reference to the girl’s dying, authorities mentioned.
The sufferer, 33-year-old Seehe Cho, weighed roughly 70 kilos when she was found within the trunk of a automotive parked outdoors of Jeju Sauna, a well-liked South Korean spa positioned in Duluth, about 25 miles north of Atlanta, the Gwinnett County Police Division mentioned in a information launch.
Two days after her physique was discovered, police mentioned six individuals have 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 prices of felony homicide, false imprisonment, tampering with proof and concealing the dying of one other, and false statements, courtroom paperwork present.
The preliminary investigation final month led to the arrest of six individuals, 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 mentioned. CNN shouldn’t be naming the juvenile who has been charged as an grownup.
The sufferer is assumed to have been subjected to beatings and malnourishment for weeks, the division mentioned. Detectives consider the girl moved to america from South Korea throughout the summer season of this 12 months “for the aim of becoming a member of a spiritual group,” Gwinnett County police mentioned.
In September, police launched pictures of the basement that seem to point out 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 pictures supplied by the division, CNN beforehand reported.
In September, officers discovered the sufferer in a automotive Hyun had parked in a parking zone. Police mentioned he bought picked up by a member of the family, whom he requested to retrieve one thing from his automotive. When the member of the family discovered Cho’s physique within the trunk, they referred to as 911, police mentioned.
Authorities then searched a house related to that automotive and allege the members of the ‘Troopers of Christ’ non secular group beat and saved Cho within the residence till her dying. They didn’t specify when she probably died.
In an announcement to CNN on Wednesday, Hyun’s legal professional mentioned his shopper was a sufferer of the “Lee household and their non secular extremism.”
The legal professional, David Boyle, additionally mentioned Hyun and the sufferer have been trying to flee from the group, including if his shopper had not escaped, “he would have additionally died.” He claims Hyun was recruited to affix the ‘Troopers of Christ’ group by the identical suspect who allegedly recruited Cho.
Kenneth Sheppard, an legal professional for Hyunji Lee, instructed 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 legal professional mentioned his shopper was tortured as a part of the group’s non secular rituals and suffered “in depth accidents” and might “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 legal professional mentioned.
On Wednesday, police confirmed Hyun was booked into the jail after being launched from the hospital.
A spokesperson for the Gwinnett Police Division mentioned they’re “conscious of the allegations” made by Hyun’s legal professional and mentioned the investigation stays ongoing.