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American Woman Arrested in Death of Teacher

July 14, 1989

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) _ A teacher from Oregon was charged in connection with the Dec. 19 knife slaying of another American educator, and police said today they were seeking a third teacher for questioning.

Police said Sandra Ames, 27, of Newberg, Ore., was turned over to prosecutors today, a day after she was arrested and charged with destruction of evidence and concealment of a felony in the slaying of Carolyn Joyce Abel, 26, of Lafayette, Ind.

Prosecutors must decide whether to deliver an indictment needed for a trial. If convicted, police said she could face up to 10 years in jail.

Police officials, who declined to be named in keeping with official practice, said they also were seeking Ellen Patrick Casey, 28, of Bellingham, Wash., for questioning in the mystifying murder case.

Ms. Casey, also a teacher, left Seoul in January and has not returned, police said. There is no extradition agreement between the United States and South Korea.

All three women worked as English teachers for a private tutoring institute in southern Seoul. The victim was found dead in her ransacked apartment, her throat slashed and multiple knife wounds on her face and body.

The Korea Herald newspaper said Ms. Ames told police she first learned of the slaying when Ms. Casey, carrying blood-stained clothes, returned on the night of the death to the apartment the two shared.

Prosecutors said Ms. Ames allegedly returned to the victim’s apartment with Ms. Casey on the night of the murder and removed such items as a blood-stained camera and checks.

Violent crime is relatively uncommon in Seoul, a city of 10 million people, and most foreign residents feel safer than they do in Western cities of comparable size.