The Frog Boys

The date was September 26th, 2002, and a man local to the area of Daegu, South Korea was foraging for acorns in the streams surrounding Mount Waryong when he made a horrific discovery: Human remains. More horrifically, the remains belonged to five children, who had vanished from the area 11 years before. Unusually, the man informed policed by leaving an anonymous phone-call and was never heard from again.

March 26th 1991 was a national holiday in South Korea as it was Voting Day in the national elections. With a day off school, the five Korean schoolboys decided to go frog-hunting in a tranquil wooded area of West Daegu. Their names were U Cheol-won (13), Jo Ho-yeon (12), Kim Yeong-gyu (11), Park Chan-in (10), and Kim Jong-sik (9) and they were all close friends. When they disappeared on that sunny afternoon, nobody saw a thing. People were busy chatting about politics, excited by the prospect of a new future for their country. Even so, it is unusual that such a case has no witnesses. When the boys failed to return home that evening, the country’s excitement dissolved into national panic.

Path leading up to the area where the remains were found.

Police searched extensively for the missing children, with President Roh Tae-Woo deploying over 300,000 soldiers to help with the search. The searches were broadcast live on television to boost morale, and South Koreans far and wide volunteered in search parties. The mountainous region that became the boys’ final resting place was searched many times, but not even a smidgen of evidence was found. Why, then, did their bones turn up 11 years later, out in the open with no effort to conceal them? They were just 3.5 Km away from their homes in an area they knew well. These circumstances are both sad and highly suspicious. All evidence points toward somebody planting their remains there.

Initially, a coroner stated that the boys had all died from hypothermia, and was immediately met with outraged parents disputing his findings. A more thorough investigation proved that at least three of the victims had evidence of blunt-force trauma to their heads and, strangest of all, the boys’ clothing was found tied in knots near their bodies. Police said it’s possible the children were killed by someone who “may have flown into a rage.” In 2006, the Statue of Limitations passed on the case, meaning that nobody could be prosecuted for the horrific murders no matter what. Sadly, the case of The Frog Boys” remains unsolved.

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