A NORTH Korean defector has mysteriously been found dead inside a flat with no sign of a forced entry, leaving cops stumped.
The 23-year-old’s heavily bruised corpse was discovered inside the locked home in Gimhae, South Korea, on November 7.
Police are now scouring CCTV to help piece together how the victim, referred to as Mr A by local media, passed away.
His family have claimed the condition of his body suggests he may have been attacked or murdered in his own home.
Investigators told how they noticed significant bruising to the man’s “face and side” after making the gruesome discovery.
But following an autopsy, officials have suggested the bruising was instead a result of blood clots that formed following his death.
Cops say no external injuries were found on the 23-year-old.
They are now performing digital forensics on his mobile phone and analysing nearby surveillance footage to determine if anyone entered the locked city flat.
Neighbours claimed they had recently heard a “loud” argument with a woman coming from the victim’s flat, The JoongAng reported.
They also claimed they had seen the North Korean sporting a “scarred” face last September.
The victim’s family have told how he left the dictatorship at just five years old with his grandmother and father in June 2004.
The trio made the treacherous journey across the Tuman River from North Korea to China, before heading to Mongolia to avoid detection.
The family then made their way into the South of the divided nation to start a new life.
But the 23-year-old is said to have struggled to adjust to his new surroundings and was bullied by his classmates while growing up.
His family claim he was forced to bounce around different schools in a bid to escape the taunts.
The man continued to live his grandmother and father while working a range of jobs in factories and restaurants, before moving out.
According to reports, police found dozens of medications prescribed to the victim for depression and insomnia.
He is said to have been diagnosed with depression and alcoholism three years ago and was receiving treatment
The man’s cause of death remains unclear, although the mysterious circumstances echo that of many other North Korean defectors.
South Korea’s Ministry of Unification said of the case: “The government mourns the deceased and is very sorry.
“We are reviewing the overall support system for families in crisis for North Korean refugees.
“The government has made a lot of effort to help North Korean defectors settle down in our society early and stably, but it is true that there are still shortcomings.”
We previously told how a North Korean defector who made it to the US revealed what it was like growing up “completely purged from the rest of the world” under Kim Jong-Un’s rule.
Yeonmi Park, 26, has recounted her troubling past where she was forced to “eat insects” and see dead bodies in the street.