It has been one month since 21-year-old medical student Son Jung Min went missing in the Han River. Though his body was discovered in the water five days later, investigations for the past four weeks have failed to find definitive answers to how or why he drowned in a busy park right in the middle of Seoul. Now, we finally hear from the last person known to have seen him alive – a young friend the media has labeled “Mister A”.
Through his lawyer, “Mister A” released a 17-page written testimony. It gives his side of the story. But Son Jung Min’s father and many in the public say it amounts to nothing more than Mister A saying “he was too drunk to remember anything”.
Here are 7 suspicions cast into the public sphere by SJM’s father:
- Why did Mister A abruptly ask SJM to go drink on April 24th?
- Why didn’t you contact us when you went to go look for my son?
- Why did Mister A have my son’s phone?
- Why did you throw away Mister A’s shoes?
- Why didn’t Mister A try to find his phone? Why did he just get a new phone right away?
- Why did Mister A take a lawyer to the hypnosis interrogation?
- Why did you come late to the funeral and not offer any apologies to this day?
From Mister A’s testimony, here are the rebuttals:
- Mister A was drinking with other friends until 10pm. He was looking for other friends to keep drinking with. He asked if he could come over to SJM’s house to drink. SJM said his parents were at home so SJM suggested they go to the Banpo River Park near his house.
- Mister A’s family felt it was improper to call so early in the morning so they decided to go to the park to look for SJM first. Mister A says he doesn’t even remember calling his father at 3:37 a.m. The phone call lasted 1 minute and 57 seconds. After Mister A got home, they asked about SJM and Mister A said he didn’t know where he was. So instead of bothering SJM’s family they decided to go to the park to look for SJM. After not being able to locate SJM, Mister A’s mother called SJM’s mother. SJM’s mother said they’ve alerted the police so Mister A’s family went home.
- Mister A says he has absolutely no memory of why he had SJM’s phone because he was so drunk. Mister A’s mom found SJM’s phone in Mister A’s jumper.
- Mister A’s shoes were so worn out the soles were falling apart. Plus, there was vomit on the shoes so the mother felt no concerns about throwing the shoes away.
- Mister A didn’t completely change his number or intend on getting a new phone. Since he lost his phone, he needed a number right away so he got a temporary one under his mother’s account.
- Mister A’s uncle is a lawyer and he advised that it would help Mister A’s mental health if he got a lawyer since there was so much suspicion directed at him and intense investigation on him as the main suspect.
- Mister A’s family went to the funeral at the last minute because they wanted to go when there were as few people as possible because they thought that would be the most appropriate thing to do.
Here are the Netizen’s Suspicions & Mister A’s Rebuttals:
- It doesn’t seem like Mister A and SJM are all that close. Why did the two go drinking together?
- Mister A and SJM have gone on vacations domestically and internationally together.
- They studied together at the library according to SJM’s mother.
- Mister A has influential family members manipulating this case behind the scenes.
- Not at all. We don’t know anyone related to the investigation. We have no ties to politicians.
- Mister A’s father’s occupation does not involve contact with the powerful and influential.
- Mister A’s mother has been a full-time housewife after marriage.
- Why did it take so long for Mister A to come forward with a public statement?
- We thought it would be inappropriate for us to complain about how unfair these accusations have been since so little time had passed since the death of SJM. It wouldn’t be proper to make these statements to make us look like the victims when the biggest victims are SJM’s family.
SJM’s Father’s Response:
Isn’t your 17-page testimony basically saying you can’t remember anything because you were drunk?
If you really aren’t connected to the rich and powerful, then I’m at ease. However, why are you so eager to wait for the police investigation results? It seems like you’re certain about the outcome.
You didn’t search for a missing friend in earnest. Is that what a real friend would do?
SJM Mother’s Public Statements:
Mister A’s mom and I are close enough where she can call me at any time of night. That makes me a bit suspicious.
Also, I don’t know what Mister A and his parents were doing at the Han River park for 20-30 minutes by themselves before they called us. I can only be suspicious because of that.
There are two camps forming in Korea. One side supports SJM’s family. The other side supports Mister A’s family. SJM Family’s supporters came from the countryside and include students. They are going to the Han River Park and Seocho Police Station to hold demonstrations. They believe there is corruption involved in the investigations.
From Mister A’s camp, they believe the mob mentality only has circumstantial evidence against Mister A and they’re turning him into a murderer. They’re rooting for the “falsely charged” Mister A and feel bad for Mister A’s father who can’t properly go to work because of these accusations.