On June 30, 2019, Yoon Sang Yup died from drowning. He had visited a river with his wife and her acquaintances, where he dove off a cliff into the river that night and drowned. At the time, it was reported that there was no foul play by the police.
Yoon’s widow, Lee Eun Hae, tried to collect on the ₩800 million KRW (about $648,000 USD) life insurance policy her husband Yoon had taken out; however, the life insurance company suspected fraud and refused to payout and contacted local authorities to investigate the incident further.
Frustrated with the insurance company refusing to pay, the widow reached out to SBS‘s Unanswered Question.
SBS’s Unanswered Question is a television show that takes pride in exposing Korean society’s ills and mysterious cold cases. Lee Eun Hae is heard during a phone interview with the show making her case that there was no foul play and that the insurance company is making her out to look like a murderer so that it doesn’t have to payout.
The show decided to investigate further and spoke with the deceased husband’s sister when she claimed the startling fact that the deceased husband, who his widow alleges had dived of his free will, couldn’t swim.
The show further investigated and found more irregularities after interviewing witness Choi, one of the acquaintances. According to her, she didn’t know Lee Eun Hae and Yoon Sang Yup were married, saying it was at the hospital that Lee Eun Hae confided to her that he was her husband.
Choi raised further suspicions revealing it was, in fact, Lee Eun Hae who suggested the men dive from the cliff. When her husband refused, Lee challenged her husband’s manhood and threatened she would dive in his stead if he didn’t, to which Yoon eventually relented and followed the other men to the cliff.
Choi made an important statement that conflicted with Lee’s original interview with the show when the witness stated that after Yoon Sang Yup dove into the water, she heard a loud yell. This statement directly contradicts Lee Eun Hae’s testimony in which she claimed she didn’t hear any cry for help from her husband. The widow claims she didn’t know her husband’s plight due to the silence.
These contradictions seem trivial compared to the revelation that Yoon Sang Yup’s wife, Lee Eun Hae, was cheating with one of the acquaintances present. According to witness Choi, Lee Eun Hae was dating Cho Hyun Soo, who was present at Yoon’s death.
Further investigation revealed damning evidence of the nature of the couple’s union. Despite Yoon earning over ₩60.0 million KRW (about $48,600 USD) working as a researcher for one of Korea’s largest companies, he lived in a basement studio apartment. Records show Yoon sending all of his money to his wife Lee, who lived comfortably in an apartment in Incheon, an hour away from Yoon. Curiously enough, records also indicate Yoon had sent money to Lee Eun Hae’s alleged lover Cho Hyun Soo.
Another shocking revelation was that two of Lee Eun Hae’s romantic partners died before Yoon, with Lee receiving an insurance payout from one of her deceased partner’s life insurance policies.
With the ingredients of sex, murder, and money, the death of Yoon Sang Yeop has captivated South Korea’s conscience. As news breaks today, April 19, 2022, that prosecutors filed for an arrest warrant for the couple on charges of murder and insurance fraud, all of Korea is eager to see what other twists and turns this sad mystery is still withholding.