Video by Cho You-bin, Oh Jung-meen
The hashtag #SorryJungin trended on social media over the past week, referring to a 16-month-old baby girl named Jungin who was beaten by her adoptive parents resulting in her death last Oct. 13. She was adopted in January last year.
Before her death, the family even appeared on a television show named One Average Family posing as a happy family, saying "adoption is something to be celebrated."
No one knew that it would become the prelude to the tragic death of an innocent young girl.
As a result of severe physical abuse, her pancreas ruptured and her abdomen swelled from internal bleeding. She also suffered broken bones.
The 16-month-old's fragile body had bruises all over and numerous fractures.
Investigative reporting program 'Unanswered Questions' quoted experts saying that the force needed to damage a child's pancreas to the degree discovered in her body is tantamount to the force of a severe car accident, or an adult female leaping off the couch and landing hard right on the baby's abdomen.
Her adoptive parents have been arrested and will go to trial on Wednesday. They are known to have stated to the police that they had no intention to kill the child.
The Yangcheon Police are also under fire as reports said her daycare teachers had noticed signs of abuse from the bruise marks on her body and reported to the police three times all of which were ignored.
It was only her death that prompted the police to start looking into the case.
After the episode, viewers and celebrities took to social media to express anger and frustration over the little girl's death, using the hashtag #SorryJungin. Those who joined the online campaign include BTS member Jimin and actresses Han Chae-ah, Seo Hyo-rim and Hwang In-young.
A public petition was also filed on the Cheong Wa Dae website, urging authorities to disclose the abusive parent's identities and charge them with murder.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in has since ordered agencies to make all efforts to better protect young adoptees, while experts are saying preventive measures against child abuse such as stricter adoption screening procedures and follow-up care need to be strengthened in order to prevent such tragedies in the future.