msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 5/4/2011 5:44:32 AM ET 2011-05-04T09:44:32

The body of a man with his hands and feet nailed to a wooden cross and a crown of thorns on his head has been found in an abandoned stone quarry, South Korean police said Wednesday.

A man wearing only underwear, with a wound on the side of his torso and nylon strings tied around his neck, arms and stomach, was found crucified Sunday in Mungyong, about 115 miles southeast of Seoul, said Chung Ji-chun, chief of the violent crime section at Gyeongbuk Provincial Police Agency.

Two smaller crosses were erected on each side of the cross he was nailed to, Chung said.

Police also found nails, a hammer, an electric drill, pieces of wood and instructions on how to build crosses inside a tent near the scene, Chung said.

An SUV belonging to the dead man was found nearby.

Extreme religious views
Police are waiting for a forensic report to determine the exact time and cause of the man's death and whether it was a homicide or suicide.

Chung identified the man as a 58-year old surnamed Kim.

Popular representations of the death of Jesus Christ depict him crucified between the crosses of two thieves, wearing a crown of thorns, a white cloth over his loins, with a wound on his side from a Roman soldier's spear.

The AFP news agency reported Kim, a taxi driver, was said by neighbors to have had extreme religious views.

It said a mirror was found at the scene, placed so Kim could see himself on the crucifix.

Police said that Kim may have died of excessive blood loss, AFP reported.

Police had not ruled out murder or whether other people had helped Kim to kill himself, AFP said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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