SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - The mayor of Seoul has been found dead, South Korean officials said early Friday local time, after his daughter reported him missing the day before.
Park Won-soon was found in northern Seoul, South Korea’s capital and largest city, near the last place his phone signal was detected. Park’s daughter told police that his phone was turned off, and that he left a message reminiscent of a will before leaving, according to the semi-official Yonhap News Agency.
Park’s daughter found the statement late Thursday afternoon local time.
South Korean media reported that Park did not show up for work Thursday. He also canceled all his meetings that day, including one with a presidential official, according to the Associated Press. About 600 police officers and firefighters searched the city for hours using drones and dogs.
No cause of death has been released thus far. One of Park’s former secretaries filed a sexual harassment complaint against him hours before he went missing, but no connection to his death has been confirmed.
The 64-year-old, a former human rights and democracy activist, became mayor of Seoul in 2011. Park was elected to two additional terms as mayor, considered one of South Korea’s most powerful political positions.
A member of South Korea’s ruling Democratic Party, Park was one of the country’s highest-profile politicians and had been widely seen as a possible presidential candidate in 2022, when the current president, Moon Jae-in, leaves office.