Woman dead in trunk was lured to US to join religious organization, police say; 6 arrested
Six people, including a teen, were arrested, police in Gwinnett County said.
DULUTH, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Six people, including a 15-year-old, have been arrested in connection with a body found in the trunk of a car Tuesday night in Gwinnett County, according to police.
Here is who was arrested and their charges, which Atlanta News First obtained through arrest warrants:
- Juoonhyum Lee, 22, was charged with felony murder, false imprisonment, tampering with evidence and concealing the death of another.
- Joonho Lee, 26, was charged with felony murder, false imprisonment, tampering with evidence and concealing the death of another.
- Hyunji Lee, 25, was charged with felony murder, false imprisonment and concealing the death of another.
- Gawom Lee, 26, was charged with felony murder, false imprisonment, tampering with evidence and concealing the death of another.
- Eric Hyun, 26, was charged with felony murder, false imprisonment, tampering with evidence and concealing the death of another.
- The juvenile was charged with felony murder, concealing the death of another, tampering with evidence and false imprisonment.
Four of the six suspects appeared in court Friday morning. The judge did not grant any of them a bond because he said he “does not have the jurisdiction to set a bond,” and that it is a “superior court matter.”
Just before 11 p.m., officers responded to the parking lot of Jeju Sauna at 3555 Gwinnett Place Drive in unincorporated Duluth.
That day, suspect Hyun reportedly parked a silver Jaguar containing the body in the sauna’s lot. Then he asked a family member to take him to the hospital for unrelated injuries. Later, he asked the relative to retrieve something for him in the vehicle — which is when the family member found the body and called 911, police said.
Police investigated and discovered the body in the trunk. In a press conference, police said the victim is a woman in her 20s to mid-30s. Her body had been in the car for at least a few days.
The woman was from South Korea and came to Georgia this summer to join a religious group called “Soldiers of Christ,” police said. The suspects reportedly kept her inside a house in unincorporated Lawrenceville, beating and starving her for weeks. The body weighed 70 pounds when it was discovered, according to police.
“It’s definitely very sad. I think we are all reeling about it now,” Randy Adams said.
Adams lives just across from the home where police say the crimes were committed. He believed the suspects moved into the home about a year ago.
“We never really got to know them,” he said. “We would never really see them outside much.”
Adams said he did see them Tuesday night, though, standing in a circle in the street. That was the night the body was discovered.
“It was weird because it was kind of intimate. You could see they were really close,” he said.
He called it “disturbing” to know what was taking place so close to his family.
“I guess I will be more of a nosy neighbor now,” he said.
The woman has not been identified because her next of kin in South Korea have not been notified of her death yet, police said.
Police also confirmed the sauna is not connected to the crime.
“We are sorry for the victim and her family,” the business said on Facebook.
The investigation remains ongoing. If anyone has any information to share in this case, please contact GCPD detectives at (770) 513-5300. To remain anonymous, tipsters should contact Crime Stoppers at (404) 577-TIPS (8477) or visit www.stopcrimeATL.com. Crime Stoppers tipsters can receive a cash reward for information leading to an arrest and indictment in this case.
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