Six people have been arrested after the discovery of a woman’s body in a trunk outside a popular Gwinnett County spa led to a “house of horrors” where the victim was beaten and starved to death.
Channel 2′s Gwinnett County Bureau Chief Matt Johnson learned exclusive new details about the case on Thursday.
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Investigators said that on Tuesday at around 10:50 p.m., someone called to report a body inside the trunk of a silver Jaguar outside of Jeju, a Korean spa and sauna.
At the time, investigators couldn’t tell the victim’s gender because of decomposition.
Johnson learned Thursday that four people have been arrested and charged with felony murder, imprisonment, tampering with evidence and concealing a death. They are identified as Joonhyun Lee, Joonho Lee, Hyunji Lee and Gawon Lee. A 15-year-old juvenile who has not been identified was also arrested on murder charges and is in custody at a metro Atlanta hospital.
A sixth person, 26-year-old Eric Hyun, was taken a hospital for unrelated injuries before the woman’s body was found. It’s unclear how Hyan and the teenager were injured.
Police say Hyun asked a family member to retrieve something from his car. When they did, they found the body in the trunk.
During a news conference on Thursday afternoon, police revealed the woman, who is believed to be in her 20s or early-to-mid 30s, was lured over from South Korea over the summer to join a “religious organization,” called “Soldiers for Christ.”
The victim was then locked in a basement and tortured. The medical examiner says malnourishment was a contributing factor in her death. When she was found, her body weighed approximately 70 pounds.
Police believe the suspects started starving the victim on August 3. They believe she died sometime in late August.
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Detectives believe the six suspects played a role in the victim’s death and then helped conceal her body in the parking lot of the spa.
The victim’s identity has not been released. Police say her family has not been notified and does not live in the United States.
Johnson talked to neighbors Thursday, who said they saw police at the home on Stable Gate in Lawrenceville where the victim was held in on Wednesday, but they had no idea about the kind of disturbing abuse police believed went on.
“I never thought its’ gonna happen in front of my house,” one neighbor said. “Normally it is quiet. Nothing happening here.”