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Body of missing Seoul mayor Park Won-soon found by police

(Update 1: re-ledes, alters headline, adds latest information of body being discovered)

Seoul, Jul 9 (EFE).- South Korean police on Thursday said they found the body of Seoul mayor Park Won-soon, who had been reported missing by his family earlier in the day.

According to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency, police searching for the missing 64-year-old discovered his body in Mount Bugak area in the north of the capital. He had last been seen in that area at around 10.53 am local time, minutes after leaving his house.

The mayor’s daughter Park Da-hee alerted authorities to his disappearance at around 5pm local time Thursday saying that her father “had left home four to five hours ago after leaving words like a will, with his phone currently off,” Yonhap reported.

Local authorities launched a huge search for the politician, which included 770 police officers and firefighters as well as dogs and drones equipped with infrared cameras.

According to local media, a female employee had accused Park of sexual harassment just before his disappearance, although there was no official confirmation of this being a factor in the events that unfolded Thursday.

Police said they would investigate the cause of death, although the circumstances pointed to a suicide.

Park, born in 1956 in Changnyeong, in the South Gyeongsang Province in the southeast of the country, had been mayor since 2011 and was a popular figure.

He was serving his third consecutive term.

He won his first term in 2011 as an independent candidate before joining President Moon Jae-in’s liberal Democratic Party in 2012.

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