Crime cases involving children are one of the most disturbing cases. This missing case of Frog Boys was one of the most famous cases for missing children until they were found dead in South Korea. This case still remains unsolved and equally mysterious. More so when five young children disappear without a trace. The case of the missing frog boys from 1991 is a confusing and baffling one that had shocked investigators and common people alike.

The name evolved as their story began to pick up traction. The boys were searching for salamander eggs, which lead to frog eggs. The eggs were dropped and the five victims were simply known as the “Frog Boys”.

Missing Report of Frog Boys

The Frog Boys was a group of five boys who disappeared in Daegu, South Korea on March 26, 1991. Woo Cheol-won, Jo Ho-yeon, Kim Young-gyu, Park Chan-in, and Kim Jong-sik, aged between 9 and 13 years old, disappeared after searching for salamander eggs in the western outskirts of Daegu.

It was a national holiday so they didn’t have to go to school on that particular day. Their parents searched around the neighborhood and even called their friends. But when they realized that none of these kids had come home, they were worried. 

In fact, none of those boys returned home. Their remains were found in 2002.

Search For the Missing Boys

The search began. One of the first steps parents took was to hand out flyers containing photos of missing children. The school and the parents of other students assisted the family. They worked together to spread information about the child’s disappearance. South Korea’s then-president Roh Tae-Woo intervened by raising the search status to a national search. He assigned 300,000 police officers assisted by residents and volunteers. 

Not only that, but the community also helps by donating as a sign of support. Donations were raised to 35,000 USD. Mount Waryong was searched over 500 times by all parties but did not find a bright end. There was not the slightest evidence that could unlock the Frog Boys’ disappearance. The longer it gets, the smaller chance to see all five children alive. It’s a difficult situation, especially for the parents.

Discovery of Remains & Investigation

Eleven years later, in 2002, a man searching for acorns on a mountain found something strange. He found a piece of clothing with the skull of five children. The suspicion that the five skulls belonged to the Frog Boys intensified when the five heads were close to each other. The area was only 2 kilometers from the neighborhood where the boys lived. The five bodies were then taken for further examination.

The strangeness arose again because forensic teams found two bullet holes in one of the boys’ heads. In addition, the skulls of three other boys were found with blunt force injuries. Police also concluded that their cause of death was being beaten as later their bodies were found with fractures, most likely caused by the assailant to the victims trying to fight off the attack.

The Forensic Team stated two bullet holes in one of the victim’s skulls. The police found a 5 cm long loaded shell and two 1 cm long-empty shells near the scene. It was not military ammunition, but rather an air rifle bullet. The families of the victims certainly can’t take for granted the horrific events that killed their children.

The culprit has not been found, so it is unlikely that a similar incident could have happened to other children. This mysterious event spread fear for quite a long time, especially for parents whose children were still young.

What Happened After The Frog Boys Remains Were Found?

The family did not stop seeking justice for the loss of their children at Mount Waryong. Moreover, the skulls of the victims were found to show the violence committed against them. Gunshot holes, damage to the head due to blunt objects, and fractures make it difficult for them to take this case for granted.

No further investigation had taken place since the boys’ autopsy back in 2002. They were eventually buried on March 25, 2004, and their skulls were donated to Gyeongbuk University for medical research.

In 2006, the case reached South Korea’s 15-year statute of limitations on murder, meaning the investigation was stopped, and the murderer can’t be prosecuted for the crime anymore. The search also found no fresh evidence since the child went missing.

However, in 2015, the National Assembly voted to remove the statute of limitations on first-degree murder, opening the possibility of criminal charges if a suspect is found. The Frog Boys incident has been the subject of a South Korean crime thriller film titled “Children”, released on February 17, 2011. The film is about an unsolved murder based on the true story of the Frog Boys of Daegu.

Categories: Case Studies


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