Vet Made 911 Call "Afraid" Days Before Death

Prosecutors allege a fight between two roommates over rent escalated in days before Maribel Ramos went missing

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Maribel Ramos, who was slain in 2013, called 911, 11 days before her slaying to tell an emergency operator she was terrified of her roommate. Vikki Vargas reports for NBC4 News at 5 p.m. from Santa Ana Monday, July 14, 2014. (Published Monday, Jul 14, 2014)

    An Army veteran killed in Orange County last year made a chilling 911 call just days before her death, saying she was scared because of a fight she’d had with the roommate who is now on trial in her death, prosecutors said Monday.

    Prosecutors contend that Kwang Choi “KC” Joy, 55, argued with 36-year-old Maribel Ramos when he didn’t have the money to pay his share of the rent, and the fighting escalated to her murder.

    During the first day of the Joy’s murder trial, prosecutors showed video of him walking into an Orange library branch.

    There, his search history revealed he looked up “How long does it take a human body to decay?” as well as the site where Ramos’ body was eventually discovered on Google Earth.

    “The defendant did a virtual drive-by of where he dumped the body,” Deputy District Attorney Scott Simmons said.

    Simmons displayed photos of cuts and scratches on Joy’s body shortly after he was arrested. Simmons said they were wounds caused during his last struggle with Maribel Ramos.

    Ramos, who was about to graduate from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in criminal justice when she went missing May 2, 2013, was last seen on video dropping off her rent check.

    As the search for Ramos grew, Joy told KNBC4 he wanted his roommate to return.

    “She’s my only family I have,” he said then. “She’s my best friend. And I want her to come back.”

    His defense attorney called Joy “odd” during his opening statements Monday, but insisted his client was not a murderer.

    “A crime will be proven here,” said Adam Vining. “And the crime that will be proven here is improper disposal of a body.”

    Vining said Ramos returned from her years of combat with PTSD, and she was prone to paranoia — possibly even suicidal.

    He also floated the theory that she may have died of a medical condition.

    Ramos’ cause of death has remained a mystery, despite a six-month investigation. When her body was discovered in a shallow grave near Modjeska Canyon, off Santiago Canyon Road, her remains were unrecognizable.