|The body of a Korean man has been returned to his family with some of his organs missing. gettyimagesbank|
By Jung Min-ho
The body of a Korean man who died in Mexico has been returned to his family ― without his brain, stomach and heart.
Mexican authorities claim that the man, 35, surnamed Kim, died of natural causes despite a scuffle with other people just before his death. His widow fears that someone is trying to cover up the truth.
After her online petition came into the spotlight, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Tuesday it asked Mexican authorities to return the missing organs, which are believed to be at the Servicio Medico Forense (Forensic Medical Service).
This came after the National Forensic Service (NFS) here failed to determine the cause of his death because of the missing body parts. Through an autopsy performed on Jan. 21, the NFS was only able to find that much of his body was bruised.
According to the widow, Kim and other men were engaged in a fight at a Monterrey karaoke on Jan. 3, which was filmed by surveillance cameras there. In a few minutes, Kim passed out and was taken to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.
"More than a week later, I received the autopsy result that says 'no external injuries.' I was dumbfounded," she wrote on the Cheong Wa Dae website.
"That night, I was told by my lawyer that it is possible to change the result of an autopsy or an investigation (in Mexico) … So I asked for another autopsy at the NFS. A forensic scientist told me that there were signs of external injuries, including many bruises, but shockingly no brain and no stomach."
She said Mexican police are not investigating the case because Kim died ― on paper ― of natural causes.
"My husband was a citizen of Korea. His three-year-old son and 11-month-old daughter have lost their father," she wrote. "Please help me and help my husband."
Since Jan. 22, the petition has garnered more than 17,500 signatures.
In a similar case last month, the body of a British tourist was returned to her home country with vital organs, including her eyes, brain and heart, missing, after she died at the Hospital de Cos in Mexico City, according to British media.
Hospital officials claimed they handed the body of the 41-year-old woman to local police in a sealed bag ― with all her organs intact. But her family members think organ traffickers might be to blame.
Mexican authorities later said her cause of death was "visceral congestion," but pathologists in the U.K. found that explanation baffling.