South Korea police officer found dead while under investigation for Itaewon crush

He is suspected of deleting a report that had prior warnings.

Matthias Ang | November 11, 2022, 06:55 PM

A South Korean police officer who was being investigated over the deadly Halloween crowd crush in the Itaewon district has been found dead in his Seoul home, South Korean media Yonhap News Agency reported.

The body of the 55-year-old intelligence officer, surnamed Jeong, was discovered by a family member at 12.45pm.

The crowd crush happened on Oct. 29 and killed at least 156 people.

Suspected of deleting a report that contained prior warnings about accident

Jeong was part of the Yongsan Police Station in the Itaewon district, which is currently under investigation, along with the fire station and ward office, for failing to respond properly to the crowd crush.

Jeong had been suspected of hiding inaction by deleting an internal intelligence report after the incident, which gave prior warnings of a safety accident during the Halloween period.

He was also charged with abuse of authority, destruction of evidence and professional negligence resulting in death.

On Monday, Nov. 7, South Korea's National Police Commissioner General Yoon Hee-keun told the country's lawmakers that an intelligence chief at Yongsan Police Station had ordered the records to be deleted and would be investigated, Reuters further reported.

Lawmakers have slammed the alleged removal of documents and called for the authorities responsible to be arrested and punished.

The circumstances surrounding Jeong's death are currently under investigation.

Left screenshot via MBC News, right photo via Yonhapnew YouTube