DULUTH, GEORGIA: Five adults and one juvenile, who called themselves ‘Soldiers of Christ’, have been arrested on murder charges after the decomposed body of a woman was found in the trunk of a car parked outside a Korean spa in Georgia’s Gwinnett County.
Police were called to Jeju Sauna in Duluth at around 10:50 pm on Tuesday, September 12, after one of the suspects’ family members discovered the decomposed body in the trunk of a silver Jaguar parked outside.
Investigators claimed that the remains were in such bad condition that detectives initially had a difficult time determining the victim’s gender.
In an official statement, the Gwinnett County Police Department noted that the victim, who is believed to be in her 20s or 30s, was brutally beaten and starved for weeks as she weighed only 70 pounds at the time of her death, according to the Independent.
Who are the suspects?
Following the grim discovery, investigators arrested six people on murder charges, the department said on Thursday, September 14.
The five adults – Eric Hyun, 26, of Suwanee, Georgia, and Gawom Lee, 26, Joonho Lee, 26, Juoonhyum Lee, 22, and Hyunji Lee, 25, all from Lawrenceville, Georgia, – were charged with felony murder, false imprisonment, tampering with evidence and concealing the death of another, according to an arrest warrant.
A 15-year-old was also charged. Police previously stated that they do not believe the family member who found the body is involved, and they have not been charged with a crime.
Police added that the suspects “referred to themselves as belonging to ‘Soldiers of Christ.’”
“Detectives believe all suspects are currently in custody, and there are no outstanding individuals,” officials added.
How was the body discovered?
In a press conference, authorities revealed that the decomposed body was discovered after Hyun parked a silver Jaguar sedan outside of Jeju Sauna and called a family member to pick him up.
The unidentified family member then took him to an Atlanta area hospital, where he was treated for “unrelated injuries.”
While the suspect was in hospital, he asked his family member to get something from the car and that’s when they witnessed “what appeared to be a deceased body in the trunk.”
The family member immediately called police and an extensive investigation was launched into the case.
Gwinnett County detectives then searched a home “associated with” Hyun in Lawrenceville and discovered evidence suggesting that the crime was committed in the basement of the property.
Police are now investigating the death as a homicide.
Who was the victim?
After initial investigation, police determined the gender of the victim but her identity has not been released yet.
However, it is believed that the victim moved from South Korea to the US over the summer for the “purpose of joining a religious organization.”
The woman’s official cause of death is still under investigation, but the medical examiner said malnourishment was a “contributing factor to her death.”
“The victim was apparently subjected to beatings and malnourishment for weeks. The victim’s body weighed approximately 70 pounds when discovered by detectives. The Medical Examiner’s Office believes malnourishment could be a contributing factor to her death. The exact cause of death is still under investigation,” the news release states.