81-year-old woman found dead and ‘semi-charred’ in suspected home invasion robbery in Los Angeles

81-year-old woman found dead and ‘semi-charred’ in suspected home invasion robbery in Los Angeles

August 5, 2022
A Korean woman was found dead and “semi-charred” in her Los Angeles home in what police are investigating as a home invasion robbery.
Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officers responded to a report of a dead body in the 20800 block of Martha Street in Woodland Hills in Los Angeles, California, at around 7:40 p.m. on Tuesday.
They found the body of an 81-year-old woman, identified as Ok Ja Kim, on a bedroom floor with half of her body under the bed. Kim was discovered unconscious and “semi-charred,” according to police. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Authorities reportedly found signs of forced entry at the Woodland Hills home. LAPD investigators believe someone had broken into Kim’s home to steal some of her belongings, killed her and tried to set the house on fire in the process.
Subscribe to
NextShark's Newsletter

A daily dose of Asian America's essential stories, in under 5 minutes.

Get our collection of Asian America's most essential stories to your inbox daily for free.

Unsure? Check out our Newsletter Archive.

“It’s generally a quiet neighborhood. [It’s] upper middle class, so a crime like this that’s violent is pretty unusual for this neighborhood,” said LAPD Detective Sharon Kim told Fox 11. “I have noticed that there is a large transient population in this neighborhood, and 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.”
Although the case is being investigated as a homicide, Kim’s cause of death has yet to be determined. Authorities are still waiting for the autopsy result. 
The neighborhood is home to many elders, according to the LAPD. Detectives have witnessed a recent crime spree in the area involving people experiencing homelessness.
“As you know, the lady that lived here was Korean. I’m Korean so I can kind of speak from that cultural background. Elderly Asian women often carry large amounts of cash,” Detective Kim said.
“It’s heartbreaking, and we’re going to do everything we can to solve this,” Detective Kim added. “Anybody who might know anything, who knows somebody who may know anything, I’m really asking for the public’s help on this one because that might be the only way we’re going to solve this.”
There is currently no suspect information regarding this case. Anyone with information regarding Kim’s death is urged to contact LAPD’s Valley Homicide Bureau at 818-347-1925. 
Featured Image via Fox 11 LA
      Michelle De Pacina

      Michelle De Pacina is a New York-based Reporter for NextShark




      Many people might not know this, but NextShark is a small media startup that runs on no outside funding or loans, and with no paywalls or subscription fees, we rely on help from our community and readers like you.

      Everything you see today is built by Asians, for Asians to help amplify our voices globally and support each other. However, we still face many difficulties in our industry because of our commitment to accessible and informational Asian news coverage.

      We hope you consider making a contribution to NextShark so we can continue to provide you quality journalism that informs, educates, and inspires the Asian community. Even a $1 contribution goes a long way. Thank you for supporting NextShark and our community.

      © 2023 NextShark, Inc. All rights reserved.