Seoul, Mar 6: In a shocking case of parental negligence, a 3-month-old baby was starved to death after her parents forget to feed her as they were busy honing their parental skills in raising a virtual child.
A police investigator in the city of Suweon just south of Seoul said on Friday, Mar 5 said that the South Korean couple were arrested after they reported about the incident, five months after the baby's death.
"They were formally arrested yesterday," the investigator said, but declined to comment further on the matter.
A news agency report said that the couple who have met online fed the child only once in 12 hours as they were obsessed with raising a virtual girl character called 'Anima' in the popular role-playing game 'Prius Online'.
"The couple seemed to have lost their will to live a normal life because they didn't have jobs and gave birth to a premature baby," Chung Jin-Won, a police officer, told Yonhap.
"They indulged themselves in the online game of raising a virtual character so as to escape from reality, which led to the death of their real baby."
A spokesman for the National Scientific Criminal and Investigation Laboratory, which conducted the autopsy said that the baby apppeared starved.
"She appears to have starved to death because she was not fed for such a long period of time," the official said.
Acknowledging their crime, the couple claimed of keeping away from the online games.
"Due to our sense of guilt, we have not been to a PC gaming room over these five months," the couple told police after their arrest.
The girl was initially well left at the care grandmother but she later moved in with her parents where her health deteriorated.