SANTA ANA ( — New details emerged Tuesday as an Orange man was formally charged with the murder of his roommate, a Cal State Fullerton student and Iraq War veteran.

Grieving family members of 36-year-old Maribel Ramos were in court Tuesday as her former roommate appeared before a judge for the first time.

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“We have no words,” said a family member. “It’s frustrating.”

Kwang Choi Joy, 54, who was arrested Friday, has been charged with one felony count of murder, officials said.

Joy is accused of murdering Ramos sometime between May 2 and May 3 and disposing her body off Santiago Canyon Road in a remote area in Modjeska Canyon.

The victim was found covered by rocks to obscure her body, according to the District Attorney.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Scott Simmons said they are looking at a couple of possible motives, including reports that Joy was infatuated with Ramos and the feeling was not mutual.

Authorities are also looking at witness reports that Joy was unable to pay his rent. 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.

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Ramos was last seen May 2 on video surveillance dropping off a rent check at her property manager’s office.

During the two week search for the victim, Joy maintained his innocence and repeatedly talked about his love for Ramos, who he said was his best friend.

Joy is being held on $1 million bail and is expected back in court next month.

Ramos was scheduled to graduate from Cal State Fullerton this weekend with a degree in criminal justice. The Ramos family has made arrangements for her niece to accept the diploma on her behalf.


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