April 6 (UPI) -- A South Korean man is under investigation after the brutal slaying of a family of three in northeastern Seoul.
Kim Tae-hyun, 24, has been charged with the murder of three women, a mother and her two daughters, after gaining entry into their apartment while disguised as a deliveryman March 23, Asia Business and Newsis reported Tuesday.
The killings have been one of the most widely reported stories in local media since last week. Reports allege Kim began drinking alcohol at the victims' residence after the murders, and even helped himself to food in their refrigerator during a half-week stay.
Murder and other types of violent crime are relatively rare in South Korea compared to other industrialized countries. Stories of homicide send shockwaves across the population.
Home deliveries of food and other items have also surged amid COVID-19, and the murders could be raising public concerns after the safety of delivery services.
Kim reportedly told police that he was stalking one of the victims, a 24-year-old daughter of the household.
The defendant said he had "met" the woman through an online gaming platform, and that after she declined to meet him in person, Kim began to stalk her and eventually identified her place of residence.
Kim said the homicides were carried out as retaliation for the woman's refusal. Analysts say it is likely the crime was premeditated.
Criminal psychologist Lee Soo-jung, a professor at Kyonggi University, said the defendant delivered fatal injuries to the neck of each of his victims. Those wounds indicate there may have been a "clear intention," which also could mean tougher punishment.
Lee also said it is likely Kim lingered at the scene of the crime because there was something the defendant wanted.
Kim, who stayed at the apartment for four days after the murder, also attempted to destroy evidence, including the data on his mobile phone. The defendant was arrested while inflicting self-injury. Kim said the killings were an "accident," according to police.