Ferry owner’s cause of death ‘unknown’

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iol pic wld_SOUTHKOREA-FERRY-_0725_11 Reuters Seo Joong-seok, the director-general of South Korea's National Forensic Service, gives a briefing on the cause of death of businessman Yoo Byung-un, at the agency office in Seoul. Picture: Kim Hong-Ji

Seoul - South Korea's forensic agency said on Friday it was impossible to determine the cause of death of a businessman linked to a ferry that capsized and killed more than 300 people in April.

An autopsy and DNA tests on the badly decomposed body of Yoo Byung-un revealed no evidence that he was poisoned, forensic agency head Seo Joong-seok told a news conference.

Yoo, the target of the country's largest manhunt, was found dead in an orchard on June 12. Police identified his body this week.

“We are aware there are many questions and did our best, but it was impossible to determine the cause of death,” an agency official, Lee Han-young, told the news conference.

The autopsy found no evidence of trauma from a weapon or strangulation, although there was heavy decomposition damage to the tissues in the head and neck, Lee added.

Yoo headed the family that owned the operator of the ferry, Sewol, which capsized and sank on April 16 on a routine journey, killing more than 300 people, many of whom were children from the same school on a class trip. - Reuters



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