Los Angeles

‘Core of Our Family’: Daughter Pleads for Help to Find Killer of 81-Year-Old Woman

It’s now been a month since an 81-year-old woman was killed in a Woodland Hills home invasion.

For the first time, we’re hearing from her devastated family.

Clara Kim said her mom Ok Ja Kim was the matriarch of their family and the person they turned for guidance and inspiration.

“She was the core of our family,” Clara said. “She was the pinnacle of this family.”

She was the mom who brought soup to her daughters when they were sick, and the grandma who moved just to be closer to her grandkids.

“What are we doing for Thanksgiving? What are we doing for Korean Thanksgiving? What are we doing for Christmas? Everything was planned. She had it,” Clara said. “My mom, in this family, was kind of the pillar of you go to get all your questions answered.”

And that is why they are so devastated about her sudden death.

On Aug. 2, Clara said her mom was expected at her home because they were about to euthanize their 15-year-old dog. Her mom never showed.

“And so my husband went to go check on her, and then he found out, he had discovered her,” Kim said.

Her husband found her robbed, killed, and set in a fire in a home invasion on the 20800 block of Marth Street.  

“To burglarize a home, that’s one thing. To rob a home, it’s another thing, but the horrific nature in which they murdered her, it truly is just disgusting,” Clara said. “People need to understand how grotesque this was, how horrific this was, it’s just pure evil.”

A month later, police have made no arrests. Kim’s family desperately hopes the community comes forward with any information that may help the case.

The person or people responsible only took a few items from the home, but they took so much more from Kim’s devastated family.

“She was such a daily part of my life,” Clara said. “She put so much love and pride in everything she did. And those are the memories that I’m grateful, that I think about more so than the events of Aug. 2.”

Ok Ja’s husband passed away last year, but she still looked forward to more travel and many more holidays and birthdays with friends and loved ones. Now that’s all been stripped away after the 81-year-old of those future memories and her life.

If you have any information please call Detective Sharon Kim with the Los Angeles Police Department. All tips may be helpful: [email protected] or 818-374-9550.

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