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State forensic lab to reveal cause of ferry owner's death this week

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

SEOUL, July 23 (Yonhap) -- The state forensic laboratory will likely release the results of a toxicology test on the ferry Sewol owner and the cause of his death later this week, police said Wednesday.

The National Forensic Service is conducting the toxicology test to determine the exact cause of the death of Yoo Byung-eun, whose body was recovered last month, they said.

The service may announce the outcome later Thursday at the earliest or Friday morning at the latest, police said.

Police said Tuesday that a body discovered on June 12 in a plum field in the southern city of Suncheon, about 415 kilometers south of Seoul, was that of Yoo, a 73-year-old billionaire who owned ferry operator Chonghaejin Marine Co.

The forensic service reportedly conducted a postmortem on the body but failed to determine the exact cause of Yoo's death because it was badly decomposed.

Authorities suspect that corruption by Yoo and his family resulted in lax safety practices, such as cargo overloading, and created conditions that ultimately led to the deadly sinking of the ferry off the nation's southwest coast on April 16.

About 100 days after one of the country's worst maritime disasters, 294 people, mostly high school students, have been confirmed dead, with 10 more still listed as missing.

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