The mayor of the South Korean capital was reported missing on Thursday evening local time, prompting almost 600 police officers and firefighters to track him down. His body was found in the city's mountains just seven hours after the operation began, Seoul police have confirmed. Search teams first started with Waryong Park, where he was reportedly spotted on CCTV footage at 10:53 a.m. Thursday. His cell phone signal was last detected present in the Seongbuk-gu neighborhood, close to his home in Jongno-gu.
BBC reports that a sexual harassment claim was filed against Park just before he went missing. The Independent added that the reports came from South Korean TV network SBS News, with a former secretary alleging he sent her "personal photos" over text, and engaged in unwanted physical contact. The allegation was filed on Wednesday, with police later revealing a "criminal complaint" had been filed against the mayor. As of right now, both the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency and Park's office haven't confirmed or denied the harassment allegation.
Park was reported missing after he failed to show up for work on Thursday, cancelling a meeting that was scheduled for later in the day. When unconfirmed reports emerged that Park had been found and taken to Seoul National University hospital, crowds began to gather at the scene awaiting news.
Believed to have been a presidential hopeful for the country's 2022 elections, Park was elected as mayor of Seoul in 2011 and was a former human rights lawyer. He was voted into his third term in June, 2019. He was a noted critic of former South Korean president Park Geun-hye, who was sentenced to 24 years in prison in 2018 after she was arrested a year prior on charges of abuse of power, bribery, coercion, and leaking government secrets.