Mayor of Seoul touted to run for Presidential elections in 2020 found dead

The mayor of South Korean capital Seoul who was reported missing after his daughter made the police aware of his disappearance on Thursday was found dead early Friday.

Police said they located Park Won-soon’s body near a traditional restaurant in wooded hills in northern Seoul, more than seven hours after they launched a massive search for him.

Mayor Park Won-soon’s daughter filed a police report on Thursday evening after her father left a “will-like” message and did not return home after leaving earlier in the day, Yonhap News Agency reported.

More than 600 Seoul police officers were scouring the area of the capital where his cell phone signal was last detected. Authorities are using drones and police dogs for the search.

Park was a member of President Moon Jae-in’s liberal Democratic Party and has been touted for a run at becoming South Korea’s president in the country’s next nationwide elections in 2022.

He was elected mayor of the sprawling capital city in 2011 and voted into his third and final term in June 2019.

The 64-year-old was a longtime civic activist and human rights lawyer, known for criticizing South Korea’s growing social and economic inequalities.