Chinese man sentenced to 22 years in jail in South Korea for murdering ‘demon’ daughter

Park Chan-kyong

A Chinese man has been sentenced to 22 years in prison by a Seoul court for murdering his daughter after his new girlfriend blamed the child for two miscarriages. She referred to the child as a “demon” who “devoured” their two unborn children, local media reported.

The man, identified only by his surname Zhang, was convicted of strangling his seven-year-old daughter in a hotel bathroom in Seoul in last August.

During his trial in South Korea last year, Zhang denied the murder charges, claiming he found his daughter dead upon his return from a bar at the hotel. But evidence including text messages to his girlfriend, surveillance camera footage and autopsy results led to his conviction.

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“I certainly will do it tonight … There are some surveillance cameras at key places,” Zhang wrote in one text message to his girlfriend.

The father and daughter had been close and had made overseas trips to South Korea, Japan and Taiwan. Their relationship changed after Zhang and his wife divorced, and Zhang began living with his new girlfriend in 2017, according to court documents.

Zhang’s new girlfriend began blaming his daughter for everything that went wrong, including her two miscarriages. After the woman unsuccessfully attempted suicide, Zhang took his daughter to Seoul and murdered her on the first night of their stay.

He killed his daughter by choking her and pushing her underwater in a bathtub. He then drank in the bar, returned to their room and called the front desk, reporting he found her dead.

Zhang committed the murder after being repeatedly urged by his girlfriend “whose hatred against the daughter was extreme”, the court said during sentencing last week.

“The innocent victim must have died in extreme agony at the hands of her father whom she loved. With her life curtailed, she was deprived of endless possibilities … The court serves the offender punishment that is commensurate to destroying a priceless life.”

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