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N.Y. man charged with killing 3 in northern N.J.
Bodies Found NJHAC2 7199710
Police investigate a home where three people were found dead in this Friday, May 16, 2008 file photo in Tenafly, NJ. The decomposing bodies of three people who had been stabbed to death were discovered inside a home in this northern New Jersey suburb Friday night, authorities said. Kang-Hyuk Choi, from Valley Stream, N.Y., was arrested Sunday May 18, 2008 in Commerce, Calif., and has been charged with murdering three people whose bodies were found in a northern New Jersey home. - photo by Associated Press
    HACKENSACK, N.J. — Authorities who charged a man with murdering three people in a New Jersey house said Monday they were led to the suspect by a meticulous diary kept by one of the victims.
    Han Il Kim’s diary put his friend Kang-Hyuk Choi in the house over the last days Kim, his mother and his uncle were alive, Bergen County prosecutor Frank Puccio said. Choi was arrested in Commerce, Calif., on Sunday, about two weeks after the deaths but less than two days after the decomposing bodies were found.
    Choi, 32, of Valley Stream, N.Y., fled the crime scene in Kim’s BMW with at least $30,000 in cash and credit cards in Kim’s name, authorities said. Before taking a flight to Los Angeles May 13, Choi was treated at hospital for injuries suffered when his victims tried to fight him off, Puccio said.
    ‘‘This was just great police work,’’ Puccio said. ‘‘We didn’t even have identities of these people and we solved it 36 hours later; it doesn’t get better than this.’’
    Authorities in Los Angeles said Choi, 32, waived his right to an extradition hearing and was expected to be on a plane back to New Jersey by Monday evening. It was unclear Monday if Choi had an attorney.
    Choi quarreled with Kim over money after socializing with him May 3 and 4, authorities said. Prosecutors said Choi used a knife to stab Kim, 27, multiple times May 4 in the Kim family home in Tenafly, about 10 miles north of midtown Manhattan.
    Choi stabbed Kim’s mother, Yoo Bok Kim, the next morning as she came to check on her son, then stabbed the woman’s brother-in-law, 70-year-old Doo Soo Seo, who also lived in the home.
    Puccio said that when Choi was arrested, he had $88,000 in cash and credit cards in Han Il Kim’s name. He had also made purchases, they said, with cards belonging to Han Il Kim and other people.
    All three victims were born in South Korea, according to the Korean Consulate in New York. Consulate spokesman Joo Min Lee said Yoo Bok Kim and Doo Soo Seo were U.S. residents; Han Il Kim’s immigration status was still unclear, Lee said.
    Associated Press writer Geoff Mulvihill in Mount Laurel, N.J., and Solvej Schou in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

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