Man Charged With Killing Military Vet Roommate - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Man Charged With Killing Military Vet Roommate

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Santa Ana, CA -

(CNS) A 54-year-old man was charged today with killing his roommate, a military veteran days shy from receiving her criminal justice
degree.

Kwang Chol Joy of Orange is accused of killing 36-year-old Maribel Ramos sometime between May 2 and May 3 and then dumping her body in Modjeska Canyon near Santiago Canyon and Jackson Ranch roads, according to Deputy District Attorney Scott Simmons.

Ramos was reported missing on May 3, prompting an intense search that ended when police found her body last Thursday. Investigators identified the body the following day but the cause of death has not been determined, Simmons said, adding that investigators may never figure out how she died.

Read More: Body Found In Canyon identified as Missing Army Vet

Joy and Ramos got into an argument when she told him to move out because he was not paying rent, Simmons alleged. Ramos was last seen on surveillance video dropping off a rent check at the property manager's office.

Part of the alleged motive may have to do with unrequited love, Simmons said.

"Witnesses we talked to, in their opinion, said he was infatuated with her, but it wasn't a two-way street," Simmons said.

According to Ramos' sister, Lucy Gonzalez, the victim had a boyfriend she had been dating for a couple of months.

Joy, who called police to report Ramos missing and appeared on newscasts talking about her disappearance, made his initial court appearance this afternoon. His arraignment was rescheduled to June 7, and his bail remains set at $1 million.

Simmons told reporters that Joy had scratches on his arm when he was arrested.

"We don't know where the scratches came from, but we do think it is relevant to the case," the prosecutor said.

Finding Ramos' body helped investigators make the case against Joy, Simmons said.

"Locating the body was pivotal in filing this case," he said, adding Orange police "did a nice job of not giving up."

Investigators are relying more on circumstantial than forensic evidence at this time, Simmons said.

Following the hearing, Ramos' cousin, Frank Campos, said the family was struggling to make sense of the slaying.

"Right now we have no words," Campos said.

He called the court process "frustrating," but said the family is confident that justice will be achieved.

"We're still trying to put everything behind us," Campos said.

Ramos served two tours of duty in Iraq as a sergeant in the Army and spent another year in South Korea. She was due to graduate this Sunday from Cal State Fullerton with a criminal justice degree.

Ramos' niece will accept her aunt's diploma for her, Campos said.

"Maribel fought for her country, so we're fighting for her," he said.

Ramos' sister said the last time she had contact with her was May 2, when she texted Ramos to ask her about a trip she had made to Chicago to participate in a panel discussion on veterans transitioning to civilian life and higher education.

"She didn't respond right away, but I know she went to work and they sent her home because she looked really tired," Gonzalez said of her sister, who worked at the veterans center at Cal State Fullerton.

Ramos went home and got some rest and sent a text message back to her sister at 5:48 p.m., saying she had gotten some sleep and promising to call later, Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez said Joy was getting ready to move out because he got a job elsewhere.
 

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