Los Angeles has announced a $50,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of a suspect in a home invasion robbery that left an Asian senior dead in August.
Ok Ja Kim, 81, was found unconscious and “semi-charred” in her home in the 20800 block of Martha Street in Woodland Hills at around 7:40 p.m. on Aug. 2. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police believe someone forced their way into Kim’s home to steal. In the process, the senior victim was stabbed, strangled and set on fire.
“I think the public absolutely needs to understand the details of this crime,” Kim’s daughter, Clara, said at a press conference on Thursday, as per KTLA. “They need to understand that we are all vulnerable to a level of vulgarity and disgust that just exists in this world, and people need to act.”
The crime occurred in a generally quiet neighborhood, according to Los Angeles police. They said the area is home to many seniors, but there are also transients spotted around.
“I have noticed that there is a large transient population in this neighborhood,” Detective Sharon Kim told FOX 11 shortly after the incident. “We’re not sure if that might be related, but that’s something we all have to be aware of when we’re coming from and going to our homes.”
Police are asking for additional surveillance footage as it still remains unknown whether Kim was followed home. The $50,000 reward will be given to anyone who provides information that can lead to the identification, arrest and prosecution of a suspect.
Los Angeles City Councilmember Bob Blumenfield called the crime a horrendous murder, according to NBC Los Angeles. The official compared it to the “likes that we have not seen in our community for a very, very long time.”
“It was something that really rocked the community to its core. Kim’s family, friends [and] community members are mourning, but also seeking answers, and seeking justice,” Blumenfield said at the conference.
Clara, who described her mother as a “selfless” person, said she remains “paralyzed” over the incident. She added that family members wake up to this day and “think this is still a dream.”
“This could have been anyone’s family. This could have been your mom, this could have been your dad.”
Investigation into the case continues. Anyone with information is urged to call the LAPD at 818-374-1925 or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.