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Cheonan Jane Doe was a woman whose dismembered remains were found in the Seobuk district of Cheonan, South Korea. It is currently theorized that the decedent was foreign to South Korea due to the presence of various clothes that originated from mainland China alongside other factors.

Case

On the morning of the 10th of January, 2006, a citizen collecting scrap was looking through the garbage disposal of a nearby flat discovered the first set of the woman's dismembered remains. The decedent's body had been chopped into seven pieces, missing the arms and the torso, then wrapped into articles of old clothing and a 50-liter white garbage bag. Authorities estimated she had only been deceased for 1-2 days, with the cause of her death being found to be strangulation due to bruising and dents of the murderer's thumbs on the neck of the body. Additionally, it was also suspected that the body was placed in the trash in the time between when the garbage disposal workers arrived at 3:00 am, to 9:20 am, her time of discovery. The perpetrator is greatly considered to have a background in the medical field or animal butchering due to the woman's remains being carefully cut with minimal damage to the joints, additionally also using a knife made for butchering instead of typical knives found in a traditional kitchen.

Due to a distinctive V-shaped groove on her bottom front incisors, it is theorized the decedent originated from China as the groove is caused by cracking open sunflower seeds, and sunflower seeds as a snack are quite common amongst the Chinese population. In addition to the groove, it was also found that the clothes found on the decedent all originated and were sold in China, save for a select few pieces. The area of her discovery was known to house a significant portion of immigrants to Korea working in the fields of construction and manufacturing. Due to the body being found with pants covered in paint chips and a type of polyurethane commonly used in construction sites, it is theorized the perpetrator of her murder owned the pants and worked in construction as no nearby job centers for construction were accepting female workers at the time. While the purchase of the pants was tracked to a nearby shopping center, the authorities were unable to obtain a significant lead as all CCTV footage in the shop had been wiped and the purchase of the pants was made in cash during the previous December.

Several months later, a pair of arms and a torso were discovered in the Jungnang sewage treatment center wrapped in a black garbage bag in the Seongdong district of Seoul. The postmortem interval of these remains was estimated to be between 6 months to a year, thus indicating to authorities this discovery may be the missing parts to Cheonan Jane Doe. However, the DNA of these remains were not a match to Jane Doe, and the second set of remains also remained unidentified. Following the lead of the perpetrator having significant knowledge of human anatomy, the authorities investigated the nearby slaughterhouses and butcher shops, though no further leads were discovered in this investigation. As of 2021, the decedent is buried in the Dongnam-gu cemetery in an area designated for the deceased with no known living next of kin.

Characteristics

  • The build of her body was described as bulky, with a waistline measuring an estimated 30".
  • An oval-shaped face.
  • Monolid eyes.
  • Lips described as protruding.
  • A noticeable light spot located between her eyebrows.
  • Several teeth with signs of dental work. Though the type of dental work is disputed, it is commonly stated several teeth were extracted alongside the inclusion of fillings and crowns.
  • A V-shaped groove on the lower incisors.

Clothing

  • A pair of pants covered in paint chips and evidence of polyurethane, suspected to belong to the perpetrator.
  • 5 different shirts.
  • 5 different pairs of pants.

Sources

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