Suspect identified as Timothy Hoag in 2005 homicide of Dr. Jeong Im
Hoag committed suicide last year.
Jan. 30, 2013
After eight years of mystery, the MU Police Department identified the suspect in the murder of Dr. Jeong Im.
"Our investigators have worked tirelessly to identify individuals," MUPD Chief Jack Watring said at a press conference Wednesday morning. "Even though we were unable to do so immediately, we never stopped working on the case, examining every lead that came to us, day and night, for a long eight years."
Im was stabbed in the chest area on the third level of the Maryland Avenue parking garage at 12:45 p.m. on Jan. 7, 2005. After responding to reports of a car fire in the garage, police officers found Im's body in the trunk of his 1995 white Honda Accord, which was on fire when they arrived at the scene.
On Dec. 21, 2012, MUPD investigators received information identifying Hoag as the suspect.
Hoag committed suicide on Aug. 9 by jumping from a parking garage downtown.
Investigators have no reason to believe that Hoag's suicide was in any way related to the murder, MUPD spokesman Brian Weimer said.
"There is nothing to indicate that his suicide was related to that," Weimer said. "Our understanding is that there was no suicide note or anything left. From looking into Hoag, it appears that he had medical issues after being struck by a car — several things went on in his life. It can only be speculation."
Investigators obtained a blood sample of Hoag and matched it to the blood, hair and touch DNA found at the crime scene. Touch DNA consists of skin cells left behind when a person touches an item, Weimer said.
Later, investigators identified another witness for the case and found additional information. The witness hadn't come forward with the information before out of fear that Hoag, who he knew was a violent person, may come after his family, Weimer said.
"The witness informed investigators that he had transported Timothy Hoag to the Maryland Avenue Garage on Jan. 7, 2005, so Hoag could get a car," Weimer said. "…Two hours later, he received a call from Hoag requesting that he pick him up at a business located north of the university and to bring gasoline. The witness picked up Hoag and transported him to the Maryland Ave. Garage with the belief that Hoag needed the gasoline to start his vehicle. Upon arrival at the parking garage, the witness parked his vehicle on a level below where the crime scene was located and Hoag took the gas can and walked up a stairwell out of sight of the witness. The witness stated that Hoag was gone for a while and when he returned he was wearing a particle face mask and hood covering his head….upon getting in the vehicle, Hoag ordered the witness to drive from the area."
Hoag is believed to be the sole person responsible in the murder, Wiemer said.
Watring complimented Sgt. Sean Spalding for being key in the resolution of the case.
"I want to say how proud I am of detective sergeant Shawn Spalding, who diligently pursued this case, was in charge of it and was the reason the case was brought to a satisfactory conclusion," Watring said.
The Im family released a statement saying they are "very relieved and grateful for the resolution of the case."
The investigation will remain open as investigators finish the case and in case additional people may come forward with information regarding the case now that Hoag has been identified, Weimer said.