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2009/08/26 14:55 KST
Police nab suspect in theft of late actress' ashes

YANGPYEONG, South Korea, Aug. 26 (Yonhap) -- A man suspected of stealing an urn containing the ashes of a late South Korean actress was caught Wednesday after a public investigation and an offer of a reward for tips.

   The 41-year-old suspect, identified only by his surname Park, allegedly took the remains of Choi Jin-sil from her grave here, some 50km south of Seoul, on Aug. 15. He had been hiding in Daegu, in the southeast, where he buried the urn in a mountain area, Yangpyeong police said.

   The remains have been recovered, they added.

   Police had put the man on a wanted list and released camera footage of the suspect breaking into the grave with a iron hammer and taking the urn, buried underground.

   "Choi Jin-sil appeared in my dream and asked me to get her out of the ground," the suspect was quoted as telling investigators.

   Choi was one of the nation's top actresses over the past two decades. She committed suicide last year after rumors circulated on the Internet that she was involved in the suicide death of another actor. Her death sparked a public debate about on-line libel.

   Investigators said they were examining the suspect for any mental health problems. Police said Park is married and has two sons.


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