Six members of the religious group “Soldiers of Christ” have been arrested and charged in connection with the death of a South Korean woman who was allegedly beaten and starved to death for weeks.
Key details: The Gwinnett County Police Department arrested six people on Thursday in a case that is now being investigated as a homicide, according to the department’s press release.
The suspects: The six suspects were identified as Eric Hyun, 26, of Suwanee, Georgia, who was the driver of the car where the body of the victim, who was in her 20s or 30s and weighed 70 pounds, was found.
The other suspects, all from Lawrenceville, Georgia, were identified as Gawom Lee, 26; Joonho Lee, 26; Juoonhyum Lee, 22; Hyunji Lee, 25, and a 15-year-old who was reportedly charged as an adult despite being a juvenile. One of the suspects was a South Korean national, while the rest were American.
What happened: Hyun reportedly parked his car outside Jeju Sauna on 3555 Gwinnett Place Drive early Tuesday. He later called for a family member to pick him up and drive him to a nearby hospital for an unrelated injury.
Hyun then asked a family member to retrieve an item from his parked car while they were at the hospital. There, the family member discovered the body of the woman in Hyun’s trunk, prompting him to call 911 immediately.
Investigation starts: Police executed a search warrant at Hyun’s home on Stable Gate, Georgia. Authorities said in the press release that they believed the basement of his home was where the crime occurred.
About the victim: Investigators believed that the victim came to the United States from South Korea in the Summer of 2023 to join the religious organization. She was allegedly subjected to weeks of malnourishment, which the Medical Examiner’s Office said was the contributing factor to her death, and beatings. Authorities said they are still investigating the specific cause of death.
Their charges: All six suspects, including the juvenile, are being charged with felony murder, false imprisonment, tampering with evidence, and concealing the death of another.
Besides charges, the GCPD also announced that they had secured multiple criminal street gang warrants on each of the arrested suspects.
Those who may have information about the case are asked to contact GCPD detectives at 770-513-5300 or anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 404-577-TIPS (8477).
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