The cold case murder of Su-Ya Kim - New York City, New York - June 29, 1991

On June 29, 1991, private security guard Joe Jones, who was hired to patrol an abandoned building in Bedford Stuyvesant, noticed a man in an alley near a dumpster behaving rather strangely. He told the man he couldn't dump trash there, but when the man offered him $20 he was willing to overlook it. When the unknown man gave him the money, the guard noticed that there was blood on his shirt. It was because of a fight he got into, the man said. When the stranger drove away in his car, Joe Jones noticed that there were also drops of blood on the floor. He followed the trail to a garbage can and opened it. There he made a shocking discovery. The body of a dead woman was hidden under some garbage.

It turned out to be Su-Ya Kim's, who had gone missing 10 hours earlier. The South Korean woman, mother of two, had been stabbed to death.

About Su-Ya Kim
Su-Ya married Su-Young Kim in Seoul, South Korea in 1981, after which they soon moved to the United States. The couple worked in flea markets for years until they finally made enough money to open two stores. One store was located in Bushwick, a culturistic part of Brooklyn, and the other in Long Island. Ten years after the couple got married, they settled down with their two sons in an apartment in Queens, New York. The two stores were successfully run by the hard-working Kim family.

Police Investigation
Su-Ya turned out to have been stabbed nine times by her killer. Her naked body was found in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn by security guard Joe Jones. The distance to the Kim family's apartment in Queens was about seven miles. During the autopsy examination, it became clear that although Su-Ya was not wearing any clothes when she was found, there were no signs of rape.

Detectives spoke with private security guard Joe Jones. After all, he was the one who had discovered Su-Ya's body, and who also spoke to the man who was behaving suspiciously near the site. Jones gave police a detailed description of the unidentified man.

It was a white man who wore round glasses and was in his twenties. According to Jones, he was about 5'6 and would have weighed between 130 and 140 pong. He wore a white tank top with a blue stripe down the middle, and blue sweatpants with a yellow sailboat badge on the leg. A composite drawing was made of the man.

As the suspect started to drive off in his blue Nissan, Joe caught a glimpse of the license plate. The police went looking for the Nissan that matched the part of the license plate indicated by Joe.

Detectives where able to track down a blue Nissan that contained the portion of the license plate indicated. The vehicle was registered to a Taiwanese exchange student at a Long Island university. During the interrogation, she indicated that she had not used the car after ten o'clock in the evening. No blood was found in the car. The trail ended there.

Joe Jones as suspect
Because the match with the Nissan turned out to be nothing, the police slowly but surely started to see the only tipster Joe Jones as a suspect. Was the man with the bloody shirt just a fabrication of the private security guard? The police had Jones take a polygraph, but he passed. As other evidence began to pile up in his favor as well, it became clear to the police that he had nothing to do with the murder.

returned focus on the first suspect
Because Joe Jones was not the perpetrator according to the police, the authorities focused their sights on the first suspect again. Detectives suspected that the perpetrator worked or lived near the body's location. It was also considered likely that the killer was a deliveryman or taxi driver. To date, the man has never reported himself to the police.

Unanswered questions
How Su-Ya got seven kilometers from her home was never clear. Her car was in the parking garage at the house, and the engine was cold. Had someone kidnapped her, or had she gone with someone voluntarily, without anyone knowing?

Information and tips
Widower Su Young Kim and his sons moved back to South Korea two years after his wife's murder. Life in New York kept stirring up memories, making it difficult for Su Young to move on with his life without endless grief.

He and their children are still desperate for the case to be solved. The killer can't get away with this. Your help is needed to catch him. Do you know anything about the murder? Even if it's just a small detail, please come forward. Don't hesitate and get in touch now (anonymously) using the form below. 

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