On October 8, a 55-year old woman was killed while building a makeshift shelter for stray cats when a cement brick was thrown from a nearby apartment building. She has only been identified as her surname, Park. Her companion also suffered a skull fracture.
With no evidence, witnesses, or known motive, the case mystified the police, media, and citizens. Netizens turned to guesswork claiming that Park, who cared for stray cats in the neighborhood, was killed as part of a hate crime. Increasing speculation brought attention to conflicts between “cat moms” and their neighbors. Park’s daughter spoke to the media about how Park was being misportrayed as a fervent cat lover, saying that her mother had simply been moved by the sight of newborn kittens.
However, on October 15, the police learned that the “cat mom” murder had nothing to do with cats. During a police search, a nine-year-old boy came forward and confessed to throwing the brick off the roof of the building. He, and two of his friends, had thrown the brick after doing a gravity-related experiment at school. His story was confirmed when the National Forensic Service found his footprints on the roof.
According to the police, the boy had no intentions of harming anyone and is too young to be held accountable under current laws. This has incited a discussion on Korean laws that stipulate that children under fourteen years of age cannot be criminally charged.