Skip to comments.Squad seeks tips in death of researcher
Posted on 01/10/2005 2:06:42 PM PST by FourtySeven
A retired research assistant professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia died of multiple stab wounds before firefighters found in his body in the trunk of a burning car Friday.
Boone County Medical Examiner Valerie Rao said after an autopsy that Jeong H. Im, 72, of Columbia was stabbed several times, but she declined to elaborate. MU police yesterday named Im as the victim. His body was found in the trunk of his burning white, 1995 Honda inside the Maryland Avenue parking garage, MU police Capt. Brian Weimer said.
The case was under investigation by the Mid-Missouri Major Case Squad. No arrests had been made by last night.
Weimer spoke to reporters at a news conference yesterday in Jesse Hall but declined to discuss details such as whether a murder weapon was recovered or the cause of the fire.
Rao also was cautious about discussing the investigation. Regarding questions on the estimated time of death, the number of wounds, the type of weapon or the fire, she said, "We dont want to release any of that information because its so crucial to what the police are doing."
Police yesterday hadnt ruled out robbery as a motive.
"All possibilities are being looked at right now," Weimer said.
Im was primarily a protein chemist. Mark McIntosh, chairman of the MU department of molecular microbiology and immunology, said he doubted the crime could have been the act of an angry student.
"Hes a 72-year-old and pretty much keeps to himself, and so I cant imagine that it was anything more than some random act," he said.
Police were trying to find an unknown person who used a campus emergency phone to report the fire, Weimer said. Police want that person to contact them again.
Weimer also asked the public for help in identifying a man - 6 feet to 6 feet, 2 inches tall - who was seen in the garage area wearing some type of mask, possibly a drywall or painters mask.
That individual is a "person of interest," Weimer said, and not a suspect.
"There could be a valid reason for someone like this to be in the garage," he said.
At about 6 p.m. Friday, MU Police Chief Jack Watring activated the major case squad. Its the first homicide investigation on the campus in nearly 16 years. The request drew in 28 squad members from various law enforcement agencies, including the Columbia Police Department and the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
Ims wife, Tesuk Im, declined comment yesterday when contacted at her Columbia home.
The parking garage serves employees of MU and University of Missouri Health Care as well as employees of and visitors to the Mid-Missouri Mental Health Center.
Weimer said investigators were still trying to determine the timeframe for the crime. Anyone who was in or near the garage from early morning to afternoon Friday has been asked to call MU police at 882-7203 or CrimeStoppers at 875-8477.
"By all means, let us sort it out," he said. "Please, give us a call and let us know what you saw."
Tribune reporter Megan Means contributed to this report.
In all seriousness, you hate to see things like that in a smaller community like Columbia. It isn't the teeming metropolis where this sort of thing gets buried in the back pages of the local paper. Hope they catch the animals who did this.
Very sad story.
You see this????
Yes it is. I heard about this story lurking in a chat room. Some were saying that there's a connection between this, and other recent researcher's deaths. (i.e, typical tinfoilery). Reading the article though, I came away believing it was most likely a random act of violence. I decided to post it in the (admittedly remote) hope maybe someone would have some info they could pass along.
May God bless his family during this difficult time.
It caught my eye because one of my girls went to UM and I have some FReeper friends there. I'll ping zip.
:...chairman of the MU department of molecular microbiology..."
Uh oh, another microbiologist dead in suspicious circumstances. Paging Art Bell!
Columbia is not a teeming metropolis but it surely is a violent, thug and dope dealer laden town that is packed full of radical leftists. I used to stay overnight there when traviling west but it got too risky, IMHO.
I want to get all conspiratorial, and right now it just looks like he ran into a random scumbag.
I have a good friend who is in the English department there. He's not a liberal, but I suppose he's probably an exception. And come to think of it the university press put an end to a very successful series he edited, probably because it wasn't P.C. enough.
I found him on the faculty roster here, but I can't seem to find any further information about him:
Another microbiologist bites the dust.
I wonder if the "protein" research relates to mad-cow disease.
It appears that others have posted the "death of scientists" theory. It should be a lot play.
Ooops, should have read It should get a lot of play.
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