Someone pummeled and smothered 18-year-old Rayoung Kim in a bedroom of her home in a new suburban subdivision in Fairfax County. She fell unconscious and later died.
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Fairfax police think the fatal injuries occurred in July 2008 during a Korean exorcism, in which a spiritual shaman and family members try to force evil spirits to leave a possessed person.
That account is in a police affidavit filed recently in Fairfax Circuit Court, which quotes Kim's brother as saying his sister was involved in a religious ritual in the moments before she passed out. The court filing also quotes the medical examiner's report, saying Kim died from "blunt force trauma and asphyxiation."
After investigating the case for more than a year, Fairfax homicide detectives recently obtained search warrants to take DNA samples from Kim's mother and brother, whom they suspect might have participated in the ancient Korean rite of kut, in which a shaman communicates with spirits.
It is extremely rare for murder or manslaughter charges to be filed in relation to religious rituals. In the past 10 to 15 years, only a few cases have been prosecuted in the United States. But the search warrant filed in Fairfax Circuit Court in the Kim case provides a window into the sometimes dangerous practice.
Kim's father, Kyung T. Kim, said police officers had their facts wrong but declined to comment further. No one has been charged in the case.
Exorcisms have a long history in Korean theology, experts said. Missionaries introduced various forms of Christianity in Korea beginning in the late 18th century, but the kut ritual long predates that, experts said.
"Historically, the Korean culture has been very deeply shaped by shamanism," said Peter Cha, a professor of pastoral theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Ill. In Korean shamanism, a woman is typically the shaman, or mudang, and communicates with gods or spirits not only to drive out evil but also to resolve financial problems or improve a person's health.
미국 버지니아주, 페어팩스군,
18살 한국인 소녀 김라영, 두들겨 맞고 숨이 막혀서 기절한후 사망.
2008년7월, 페어팩스군입 경찰이 <한국식 굿> 의식을 통해, 김씨 가 치명적인 상처를 입은 원인으로 추정한다.
최근 제출 됀 진술서 를 의해, 김씨 의 형제 (오빠인지 동생인지 불명) 의 발언 [누나 / 여동생이 의식 에 참가 하고 있었어 그후에 기절 했어요] 가 진술 됀다. 검사 결과서 에 의해 [폭력외상 질식사] 라고 기록됀다.
1년간이상, 페어팩스군 살인사건 조사탐정 들이, 최근 수색 영장 을 받고, 김씨 형제 와 어머니 자모 부터 DNA샘플 을 얻었다. [굿] 의식 참가 용의로 생각 됐었다.
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