by Emily Kim
A Korean American contractor from Ohio admitted to killing a Virginia woman in a bizarre robbery attempt, according to news reports.
Danny Kim, 49, pleaded guilty on Nov. 9 to two counts of murder, avoiding a possible death sentence, and will now spend the rest of his life behind bars.
Kim, who had been renovating Chung A. Auh’s home in Annandale, Va., learned of a safe Auh kept which contained $140,000. He and his brother drove from Ohio to Auh’s home and staked out the house for more than 24 hours before they entered.
According to the Washington Post:
When a friend found Auh, 53, later on July 24, 2009, her hands were bound and her throat had been slashed. Bloody footprints led directly to a safe that contained $140,000, authorities said, but the assailants weren’t able to open it. Investigators believe that the men beat Auh, trying to persuade her to give them the combination, and killed her.
DNA matching Kim’s was found on the cabinet which had contained the safe.
Auh was well known in the Korean community in Annadale for her generosity and kindness. According to her husband, Suhak Auh, she performed acupuncture and other medical services to people without insurance and made free house calls to the elderly.
Suhak Auh said he and his wife had been married for 30 years, moved here in 1993 and had two grown children. But in the Korean community, he said, he was the target of rumors suggesting that he was the suspect, or had hired someone to kill his wife or had been unfaithful to her. He said that compounded his misery and that his children had to withdraw from medical school because they could no longer afford the tuition.
“Even in the middle of the night, I feel her body next to me,” he said. “I get up and go to the cemetery in the middle of the night.”