All four of South Korea's living presidents have been convicted of criminal offences, although Park's predecessor Lee Myung-bak was granted bail earlier this year.
His body was found on Bukak mountain in the Seongbuk-gu neighborhood, which is close to his official residence in Jongno-gu.
Park's daughter reported him missing at 5:17 p.m. (0817 GMT) on Thursday, police said.
Local media said the former secretary claimed on Wednesday that Park had sexually harassed her in 2017, and sent her indecent messages and photos.
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The note, which was found on his desk and revealed by his chief secretary, read, "I'm sorry to everyone". The three-term mayor of the country's capital was seen as a potential presidential hopeful for the liberals in the 2022 presidential elections. A memorial altar will be set up in front of the City Hall in central Seoul Friday afternoon to allow citizens to mourn his death. He reportedly had been embroiled in sexual harassment allegations. "I am so sorry to my family, to whom I have only caused pain". He left a message on his daughter's mobile phone answering service that she first heard more than five hours later.
While the death has caused an outpouring of sympathy, many South Koreans have demanded that authorities investigate the reported allegations against Park and voiced opposition to a large-scale funeral paid for with taxpayer money.
"The victim must have had painful times in the run-up to the filing of the complaint", wrote one user. One of Seoul's Metropolitan Government officials, Kim Ji-hyeong, said the Park had canceled all his scheduled meetings and activities, including a meeting with a presidential official.
Bespectacled and soft-featured, Park was considered a political novice when he first entered the Seoul mayoral race as an independent candidate in 2011 but he defeated Na Kyung-won, the most prominent female lawmaker for the then ruling conservative party. "I pray that the deceased rest in peace", Chung said.
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"If acts of defaming him continue irrespective of the truth, we will sternly respond with legal action", he warned.
"They would endorse feminism if it helps their political career, but would not think how they treat women in real life - such as at home or at work - also matters".
"Mayor Park's suicide will prompt soul-searching in Seoul", Leif-Eric Easley, an associate professor of global studies at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, told DW. He founded a number of organizations, including the People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy, which promotes democracy and human rights in South Korea.
As mayor, Park championed city welfare projects and became a symbol of reform.
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