The chairman of an affiliate of Semo Group, which controls Chonghaejin Marine Company, seemed to confirm that the practical owner of the Sewol-ho ferry is hiding at the headquarters of a religious sect led by the Yoo family in Geumsuwon, Gyeonggi-do province, south of Seoul.
Later, he reversed himself.
Hemato-Centric Life chairman Lee Jae-ok said in a press briefing inside the compound on Sunday that Yoo might come out if his name were called.
"Yoo has taken pictures from that window over the past four years. He might come outside if I shouted his name."
But as the press continued to ask about Yoo's whereabouts, Lee reversed himself, saying he doesn't know where Yoo is.
"The last time I saw him was about a week after the Sewol-ho ferry accident."
The briefing was held in a yard inside the compound, where Yoo has taken photos.
The religious sect opened some of the facilities to the press on Sunday, and asked that everything happening inside be made public.
Yoo is believed to be in hiding, after he failed to appear for questioning last Friday.
Recent reports that Yoo was trying to escape the compound in the car of a believer have prompted police to strengthen its surveillance of cars coming in and out of the facility.
The 73-year-old is suspected of tax evasion and embezzlement of millions of dollars from company affiliates owned by him and members of his family.
Yoo has until Tuesday to show up for a court hearing.
If he fails to appear, the court is likely to issue an arrest warrant for Yoo on Thursday.
Arrest warrants for Yoo's second son and eldest daughter, both of whom are abroad, have been issued after the two failed to appear for questioning.
This morning, more than a month after the Sewol-ho ferry sunk off the southwestern coast of Korea, another body was pulled from the waters, raising the death toll from the disaster to two-hundred-86.
Connie Kim, Arirang News.