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Parents of slain model break silence, ask to keep alleged killer behind bars

The parents of an aspiring model who was strangled in Santa Monica in 2008 broke their long public silence Monday, making an unsuccessful plea to keep their daughter’s alleged killer in jail.

Police discovered Juliana Redding’s body in her condo after Greg and Patricia Redding, of Arizona, informed them that they were concerned because their daughter had not been returning telephone calls. Two years after the slaying, Kelly Soo Park, 45, was arrested in connection with the killing.

Prosecutors have pointed to Park’s employer, a Marina del Rey physician, as the link between the two women. Dr. Munir Uwaydah made six-figure payments to Park and her family before the killing and before Park’s arrest, prosecutors said, and bragged that he had a “female James Bond” in Park. Uwaydah has not been charged in the killing.

Redding’s father, a pharmacist, and Uwaydah had planned to start a pharmaceutical business together, but the deal had broken down days before the killing, prosecutors said, indicating in court that Park was told to go to the aspiring model’s condo by Uwaydah to send a message.

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Park has pleaded not guilty. Uwaydah, through his attorneys, has denied any involvement in the case.

Since Park’s arrest, the Redding family has declined to be interviewed and remained tight-lipped. But on Monday, before a judge cleared the path for Park to be released on bail, a letter from the Reddings was read aloud in court by prosecutors.

“Ms. Park was assured immediately after her incarceration that Munir Uwaydah would ‘cover’ Ms. Park’s bail,” the letter said. “It is evident that Ms. Park will flee the country if she is released from custody.”

Prosecutors have pointed to a jailhouse phone call between Park and her sister that referred to Uwaydah bailing the woman out.

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For months after Park’s arrest, her attorneys had been forced to prove that assets put up for her bail, set at $3.5 million, were not connected to illegal activities. A court filing shows family friends — including a former university professor and a financial manager — offering to put up their own assets to help her.

Park is expected to be released from jail after a judge Monday approved the assets put up on her behalf.

A trial is expected next year.

robert.faturechi@latimes.com


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