Fugitive Owner in Ferry Disaster Found Dead
Billionaire Yoo was target of massive South Korea manhunt
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 22, 2014 12:46 AM CDT
Police officers stand guard in front the main gate of the Evangelical Baptist Church compound after raiding it to search for Yoo last month.   (AP Photo/Yonhap, Suh Myong-geun)
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(Newser) – A decaying body found in a plum field is that of the fugitive billionaire who owned a ferry that sank in April, South Korean cops have confirmed. Yoo Byung-un, patriarch of the family that owned the ferry operator, went on the run soon after the Sewol sank and had been the subject of the country's biggest-ever manhunt, reports the Guardian. Police say DNA and fingerprints have confirmed the identity of the body that was found last month, soon after police raided a compound belonging to a Christian splinter group, of which Yoo was a leading member.

The 73-year-old was wanted for questioning on charges including embezzlement and criminal negligence, and many of his family members have already been arrested, including his wife, the BBC reports. His eldest son is still on the run. The number of dead from the Sewol disaster stands at 294—most of them high school students—and 10 people are still listed as missing. After the sinking, investigators found that the ferry was routinely and severely overloaded. Company officials are now on trial—a separate trial than that of the ferry captain and crew members, who were charged with murder.