Baby Starves to Death as Parents Raise Virtual Kid

Contributing Writer

The couple, labeled in some circles as game addicts, had spent 12 hours at an Internet café and returned to find their daughter had died. "They called in last September to report that they found their daughter dead after coming back home in the morning," Detective Chung Jin-Won of the Suwon Seobu Police Station said, according to ABC News. "They had spent 12 hours, all night at a PC bang."

An autopsy revealed that the little girl had died from malnutrition. When questioned by the police, the couple, known only as the Kims, confessed that they had fed the three-month-old baby rotten, powdered milk and had often spanked her when she cried.

Ironically, police say the Kims neglected their child so they could raise a virtual daughter through an online game called PRIUS. PRIUS allows players to choose a job and interact with others. Once they reach a certain level, a second avatar can be earned which they are supposed to nurture.

ABC reports that the couple met online in 2008 and throughout their marriage and birth of their baby, lived with the wife's parents. Officials said both are unemployed and spent most of their time playing Internet games at local cafes even during the wife's pregnancy.