Theater actress Choi Sung Hee and husband Kim Yoon Suk have disappeared without trace since 2016.
A mysterious disappearance
Choi Sung Hee is a popular actress of the Busan Theater (Busan, Korea). In 2015, she got married with a restaurant owner Kim Yoon Suk. However, 6 months after their wedding ceremony, the newlyweds disappeared mysteriously, leaving behind their pet dog. Even now, their missing is still a question mark.
According to Koreaboo, the footage from CCTV at the apartment building where the couple lived revealed that, on 27th May 2016, the actress returned home from the convenience store at 11:30 midnight (local time). There was no recording of Choi leaving her apartment after that.
Around 3:45 in the early morning of the following day, 28th May 2016, her husband Kim Yoon Suk returned home after drinking with his colleagues. CCTV also did not record any footage of him leaving the apartment afterwards.
That was the last time the couple were seen alive. A week after, the police opened an official investigation to look for the missing couple.
The person calling the police was Kim Yoon Suk’s father. He was worried when he could not contact his son for a few days so he immediately called Kim’s restaurant. Knowing that Kim had not gone to work since 28th May 2016, Kim’s father reported to the police on the 31th of May.
Through investigation, the police discovered that the couple still exchanged by phone many times before they got turned off on 2nd June 2016.
In detail, on 28th May 2016, a text message from Choi’s number was sent to the assistant director of the theater, asking for a day-off for feeling not well. Two days later, the assistant director continued to receive messages asking for another day-off from Choi’s number, stating that she was hospitalized due to “the same accident”. When the assistant tried to contact her, the person was disconnected.
Choi’s acquaintances believed that the “accident” the actress implied had something to do with her history with depression. Choi was once in danger of overdose. However, the assistant suspected Choi was not the one sending the messages since they mostly talked informally whereas the last messages were very formal.
A few days later, the assistant was able to contact a person claiming to be Kim Yoon Suk. However, because the people at the theater had never met Choi’s husband before, they could not verify if that was really her husband Kim. The assistant told the police that the alleged husband said that his wife was in the hospital and apologized for disrupting the training of the play.
What’s noteworthy was that the police could not find any record of Choi being admitted in any medical institute. The last time she went to the hospital was in March of the same year for her medicines.
The employees at Kim’s restaurants informed that their boss had contacted them to announce that he would not be present at the restaurant for a while but he had sent them a sum of money to maintain the activities of the restaurants. According to the employees, Kim Yoon Suk seemed extremely exhausted so his talking voice was a bit different from usual. This point raised the police’ suspicion that someone might be playing as Kim.
The couple’s phones were powered off by 2nd June 2016. Relying on their GPS, the police identified Kim’s phone to be in Busan on the same day, while Choi’s phone was located in Seoul far away.
On the same day, the police carried out an official investigation and proceeded to look into the couple’s apartment. The investigators did not find any sign of struggle or intrusion.
At first, the police suspected that the couple was on a vacation since their personal belongings such as purses, passports and laptops were not in their apartment. Despite no trace of disorder, the police spotted many signs indicating their disappearance was not in the plan. Specifically, there were unwashed dishes in the sink, the untouched groceries from the store Choi bought was still on the table and the couple’s car was still in the parking lot with several things that Choi bought were left there. Moreover, their pet dog was left behind in the apartment. When the police came, its feces was all over the floor.
The most mysterious clue that the police found was a video extract from CCTV. Although there were at least 70 police officers watching the video, nobody could detect signs of the couple leaving the apartment.
The police stated a possibility that the couple might have walked down through the emergency exit stairs to the first floor. Hence, the CCTV could not capture them. However, the door to the stair also had a camera. There was only one blind spot that was located right under the camera. This meant whoever was responsible for their vanishing should know and familiar with all the camera angles and there was no physical struggle between the couple and the suspect.
The prime suspects
The police could not find any motive that could have led to the couple’s missing or being harmed because they did not have any debt or personal enmity. However, Kim’s colleagues revealed that Kim might have a second phone used behind his wife to talk to his ex-girlfriend known as “Yoon”.
The relationship between Kim Yoon Suk and Yoon supposedly came to an end due to disagreement between families but Yoon could not stop feeling for Kim. Yoon got married to another man but filed a divorce soon after because her ex-husband believed Yoon was having affairs with Kim.
Yoon married for the second time and moved to Norway with her new husband. However, she had a miscarriage and was said to resume her contact with Kim and blamed him for ruining her life. Yoon even sent threats to Kim Yoon Suk and Choi Sung Hee.
Many people believed Yoon might have something to do with the case because Choi Sung Hee was pregnant at the time of the missing. Vengeance might be Yoon’s motive.
On 5th May 2016, Yoon and her husband came back to Korea right after Choi shared her pregnancy with friends. Notably, Yoon went back to her hometown but did not notify her family nor friends. She stayed in the hotel and sauna and paid in cash. The police remarked Yoon did not want anybody to know about her presence in Korea.
More suspiciously, Yoon changed her ticket back to Norway forward to July 6th, 5 days after the police started their official investigation on the vanishing of couple Choi and Kim.
While having suspicious motives and behaviors, the police could not find any solid evidence to officially frame her as a suspect. The police also looked for ways to extradite Yoon from Norway but the request for questioning was denied. For the lack of evidence, the Norwegian court ruled in favor of Yoon. The police’s only hope was for Yoon to voluntarily go back to Korea to give her testimony. Yoon’s mother even flew to Norway to beg Yoon to cooperate with the police but she remained silent.
Now, the Korean police force and the public still believe Yoon is connected to the missing and even cooperate with Kim Yoon Suk to harm Choi Sung Hee. however, they are speculations. There is a possibility that the couple is running away from an unidentified threat or being forced against their will.
At present, the disappearance of Kim Yoon Suk and Choi Sung Hee is still an unsolved mystery. Because the police cannot find the remains of the couple, they are listed as missing and not dead. The families of Choi Sung Hee and Kim Yoon Suk keep their hopes that they can know the truth.