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Piano teacher's body left at hospital

June 10, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
A piano teacher's estranged boyfriend is behind bars for her murder.Police said Ho Chun Kang, 40, drove the victim to the hospital Monday when he was due in court on domestic violence charges. But when they got there, authorities say she was already dead, and had been for some time.

Kang was arrested later Monday and was booked at West Valley Detention Center. He'll be charged with the first-degree murder of Caroline Kim.

A small pot of flowers sits on Caroline Kim's front doorstep in Redlands, placed there by her longtime friend Karen Harris, who worked with her at an elementary school in Loma Linda. Kim was 47 when she died.

"She was a wonderful teacher, very gifted pianist and we will miss her tremendously," said Harris.

It apparently started with a strange phone call from the suspect to his family Monday afternoon.

"He had called them a couple of times around noon on Monday and said that he was in some trouble and that he had done something bad," said Carl Baker, public information officer, City of Redlands.

Redlands police, thinking it may have had something to with Kim, went to her house to check on her, but she wasn't there.

They were concerned because there was already a history of domestic violence.

"He had threatened Ms. Kim with a knife and had assaulted her and he was due in court on Monday, and of course he didn't show up," said Baker.

When he should have been in court, he was actually on the way to Good Samaritan Hospital Los Angeles with Kim's body in his van.

Doctors say she had apparently been dead for quite some time.

Redlands police later found her car in a church parking lot, not far from her home.

"It appears she met the suspect at the church parking lot, that's what we believe happened, and he either took her against her will from that area, or killed her there, and had her in the vehicle until he went to the hospital," said Baker.

Asked why the suspect would drive the victim all the way to Los Angeles, detectives said they didn't quite know, but they did say Kang only speaks Korean and he knew that there would be Korean-speaking doctors at that hospital.

If you have any information on this case, call the Redlands Police Department at (909) 798-7681.

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