Representational image (newborn)


  • The father confessed that he had strangled their son to death
  • The couple said they feared their parents would forcibly separate them if they found out that they bore a child
  • A majority of the infanticide suspects caught by police in South Korea over the last nine years were in their teens and 20s

A young couple in South Korea was arrested Sunday after police said they killed their newborn son and abandoned his corpse in a river, according to a report.

The pair, who were not named but were identified as a man in his 20s and a woman in her 30s, were apprehended by Gyeongnam Provincial Police Agency after the Changwon District Court deemed them a flight risk and issued an arrest warrant, the Korea Herald reported.

The crime was revealed after the government of Goseong-gun found out that the couple did not register their child's birth and had reported the infant's disappearance to police last week.

According to police, the couple initially claimed that their 5-day-old son, born in September 2022, was found dead a day after they were discharged from the hospital last year.

They also claimed that they buried the body themselves because they were financially strapped and could not afford cremation.

The couple told authorities that they feared their parents would forcibly separate them if they found out that they bore a child.

Police said that they dispatched around 80 of their staff, including riot police, to search for the body of the dead infant in the area where the father said they buried him, but they couldn't find the body.

The father later confessed to police that he had strangled the baby to death and had tried to bury the body in the wilderness but decided on a different location due to passersby. The body was dumped in a nearby river in Geoje, South Gyeongsang Province, according to authorities.

Police said that they are now focusing their investigation on finding the infant's corpse around the location and have sought the help of the country's coast guard.

The murder of the baby was one of the child abuse and infanticide cases uncovered after the South Korean government launched an investigation to check the well-being of more than 2,000 undocumented babies born since 2015.

Two unregistered newborns were discovered in a home refrigerator last month.

On Sunday, a South Korean lawmaker said police data shows that 77% of infanticide suspects caught by police in the country over the past nine years were in their teens and 20s, according to Korea Herald.

Of the 86 people accused of killing young children between the years 2013 and 2021, 44%, or 38 suspects, were in their 20s, while 34%, or 29 suspects, were aged 14 to 19, according to National Police Agency data released by Rep. Jung Woo-taek of the ruling People Power Party.

The two age groups were then followed by those in their 30s at 19% and those aged 41 to 50 years old at 3%.

In terms of gender, women far exceeded men, with 78 suspects being female and only eight being male.

The lawmaker said unexpected pregnancies at a young age led to the higher number of infanticide and child abandonment suspects in the younger groups.