SANTA ANA (CBSLA.com) — A man was charged Tuesday with murdering his roommate and disposing her body in an unincorporated area of the Santa Ana Mountains.
Kwang Chol Joy, 54, who was arrested Friday, has been charged with one felony count of murder, officials said.
The body of 36-year-old Maribel Ramos, an Iraq war veteran and Cal State Fullerton student, was found Thursday in a remote area in Modjeska Canyon.
Ramos was last seen May 2 on video surveillance dropping off a rent check at her property manager’s office. Officials believe Ramos and Joy got into an argument earlier that day after the victim told him he needed to move out of her home in Orange because he was not paying rent.
Joy is accused of murdering Ramos sometime between May 2 and May 3 and disposing her body off Santiago Canyon Road.
Ramos’ friends reported her missing the night of May 3 when she didn’t show up for scheduled events.
During an interview with Joy, homicide detectives took photos of scratches on his left forearm. Joy said that the visible scratches came when he was walking his and Ramos’ small dogs at Eisenhower Park in Orange. He said that the dogs were pulling in opposite directions and he fell into a bush. Officials now believe he was injured by a barbed wire fence adjacent to the area where the body was discovered Thursday.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Coroner identified Ramos’ body Friday. The cause of death is still under investigation.
Joy is being held on $1 million bail and is expected to be arraigned at 12 p.m. Tuesday.