A South Korean couple arrested for allowing their baby to starve to death had been raising an online child, state media reported citing police sources.
The couple, residents of a Seoul suburb, allegedly neglected their prematurely born three-month-old daughter, feeding her just once a day in between 12-hour stretches at a neighborhood internet cafe, the official Yonhap news agency reported.
Police said the couple had become obsessed with raising a virtual girl character called "Anima" in "Prius Online", a popular role-playing game in South Korea.
"The couple seemed to have lost their will to live a normal life, because they didn't have jobs and gave birth to a premature baby," said Chung Jin-won, a police officer.
"They indulged themselves in the online game of raising a virtual character so as to escape from reality, which led to the death of their real baby."