SEOUL: K-pop group SHINee member Kim Jong Hyun, 27, died on Monday (Dec 18) in an apparent suicide, according to local reports.
Police found him unconscious at 6.10pm Korea time in his own apartment located in Cheongdam-dong, in the upscale Gangnam district, after his sister made a report at 4.42pm saying that her brother seemed suicidal.
Kim – who is better known as Jonghyun – was taken to a nearby hospital, but eventually died.
Reports suggest he died of cardiac arrest from suspected carbon monoxide poisoning.
He was found to have burned a coal briquette on a frying pan. Charcoal briquettes can cause carbon monoxide poisoning in closed rooms.
Police are investigating the incident as a suspected suicide.
Kim made his debut in 2008 as part of the five-member group SHINee, which produced hit singles such as Ring Ding Dong. He later went solo and just performed two solo concerts in Seoul earlier this month.
According to the reports, his final message to his sister was: "It's been too hard. Please send me off. Tell everyone I've had a hard time. This is my last goodbye."
Fans reacted with shock online, with many saying they could not believe the news. - The Straits Times/Asia News Network