South Korea police say a body may be ferry-disaster fugitive's

Reuters
FILE - In this April 17, 2014 file photo, South Korean Coast Guard officers search for missing passengers aboard sunken ferry Sewol in the waters off the southern coast near Jindo, South Korea. The anger, grief and deep remorse at Danwon High School in Ansan, outside of Seoul, was a reflection of what many South Koreans have felt since the April 16 sinking of the ferry that left more than 300 people dead or missing. Of the 325 students on a class trip to the southern holiday island of Jeju, 75 were rescued, 245 died and 5 are still missing. Two of those rescued had already returned to school, officials said. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon, File)
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FILE - In this April 17, 2014 file photo, South Korean Coast Guard officers search for missing passengers aboard sunken ferry Sewol in the waters off the southern coast near Jindo, South Korea. The anger, grief and deep remorse at Danwon High School in Ansan, outside of Seoul, was a reflection of what many South Koreans have felt since the April 16 sinking of the ferry that left more than 300 people dead or missing. Of the 325 students on a class trip to the southern holiday island of Jeju, 75 were rescued, 245 died and 5 are still missing. Two of those rescued had already returned to school, officials said. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon, File)

South Korean police are trying to confirm the identity of a body they believe may have been the fugitive head of the family that owned the operator of a ferry that capsized in April, killing more than 300 people, a police official told Reuters.

Yoo Byung-un is accused of embezzlement, negligence and tax evasion and has been the subject of a two-month nationwide manhunt. A reward of nearly half a million dollars has been offered.

A police official said the body was found last month in a plum field in the southern city of Suncheon near a retreat where police have suspected Yoo may have been hiding, and that forensics examinations had found that the body's DNA resembled Yoo's. Further examination was underway, the official said.

A press conference was due to be held at 9 am (0000 GMT) on Tuesday in Suncheon, the official said, declining to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to media.

Local media reports on the development came hours after prosecutors apologized on Monday for failing to capture Yoo, the country's most wanted man, when they announced interim results of their investigation into the country's worst maritime disaster in 20 years. They did not mention that a body suspected of being Yoo's had been found.

(Reporting by Ju-min Park; Editing by Tony Munroe, Larry King)

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