A man suspected of killing his wife in their Burbank apartment this
week is in police custody in Las Vegas, but he could be sent back to
Burbank as early as Monday, authorities said.
Joong Myung Kim, 53, was taken into custody by CHP officers about
5:30 p.m. Wednesday after crashing his Toyota Camry on Interstate 15
between Baker, Calif., and Primm, Nev. Kim was wanted by Burbank
Police for allegedly killing his wife, 45-year-old Young Sun Cho,
Officers were called to an apartment in the 600 block of East
Cedar Avenue about 7 a.m. Wednesday after Cho’s 16-year-old daughter
called 911 to report that her mother wasn’t breathing. Police and
fire paramedics responded to the call, but Cho was pronounced dead at
the scene, police said. Kim’s 8-year-old grandson was also inside the
apartment, but police said both children were asleep when the woman
was allegedly murdered.
Burbank Police notified law-enforcement agencies throughout the
region to be on the lookout for Kim, who police said was known to
frequent the Palm Springs and Las Vegas areas. CHP officers who
responded to the crash ran a check of Kim’s license plate and
contacted Burbank Police, who had issued a no-bail warrant for his
Police spokesman Sgt. William Berry said it appears Cho was
strangled, but an official cause of death won’t be determined until
the coroner’s investigation is complete. The two children were placed
in a foster home by the Los Angeles County Department of Children and
Family until other relatives could be located, he said.
Kim was taken to a Las Vegas hospital for treatment and released
late Wednesday into a Clark County jail, police said. Three Burbank
detectives traveled to Las Vegas to question Kim, who likely will be
extradited to Burbank following a court hearing Monday or Tuesday.
From conversations with family and others who knew Kim and Cho,
police learned there was a history of domestic violence between the
two, but officers have never been called to the home before, Berry
“Apparently this was one of those suffering-in-silence type of
things,” he said.
Like police, several neighbors said they were unaware of any
problems in the building.
“We’ve never heard a fight or anything coming from over there,”
said Kurt Ela, whose apartment overlooks the one where the alleged
Kathy Pirrucello, who manages a building up the street, said she
was shocked to hear about the crime.
“All my life I’ve lived in Burbank, and I never expected to be
close to something like this,” she said.