The apparent suicide of a South Korean pop star’s father and grandparents has shocked Koreans and K-pop fans, who expressed their sympathy for him on social networks.
On Monday morning, police discovered the bodies of the father and grandparents of Park Jeong-su, better known as Lee Teuk of the boy band Super Junior, in their flat in southwestern Seoul, said Dongjak district police.
When officers arrived at the apartment Park’s grandfather, 84, and grandmother, 79, were lying in bed together covered with a blanket, while his 57-year-old father was hanging on a wardrobe door knob, police said.
A note, which is believed to have been written by Park’s father, was also found at the scene, saying, “I am taking my parents.”
Park’s father divorced his wife some years ago and had been taking care of his ill parents, both of whom had Alzheimer’s disease, police said. He had also been struggling recently with depression, family members told police.
Although they are still investigating, police said they believe Park’s grandparents were strangled to death by his father, who subsequently hanged himself. Their estimated time of death was around 11pm on Sunday.
SM Entertainment, the management agency of the K-pop star has come under fire for releasing a contradictory statement, saying his family members died in a car crash instead.
Park, who is currently in the army to complete his mandatory military service, took a leave of absence to attend the wake and funeral, reported local media.
On Tuesday morning, the topic “Support Park Jung-soo” was trending on social network Twitter as his fans expressed their condolences.
Celebrity suicides occasionally make headlines in South Korea, which has one of the highest suicide rates among industrialised nations. Well-known Koreans who took their own lives include former president Roh Moo-hyun, Samsung heiress Lee Yoon-hyung and actress Choi Jin-sil.