DENVER (CBS4) – The Denver District Attorney’s office says their case against a man charged with murdering his business partner has grown stronger now that the remains of the victim have been found.
Hae Park, 64, disappeared in March 2010. In April 2010 a large amount of his blood was found inside his mortgage business, located on East Girard Avenue.
The DA’s office charged Joong Rhee, 67, with first-degree murder shortly afterwards, despite the fact that Park’s body hadn’t been found. Rhee and Park were partners in a motel venture in Moab, Utah.
Park’s cell phone was later found in Glenwood Springs and this summer a man who was walking with his dog near Cisco, Utah, found bones that eventually were determined to be Park’s.
“A passerby on the highway in Utah who had gotten out to take a hike — his dog brought back a bone that looked to be human,” DA’s spokeswoman Lynn Kimbrough told CBS4.
The victim’s son helped investigators identify the bones. Park had some unusual dental surgery in Korea 40 years ago, and when he was shown a slice of a skull and a jaw bone it was clear the remains belonged to his father. More bones were also found in a search, including a skull that the Associated Press reported showed signs of having been beaten.
“It has been confirmed those are his remains,” Kimbrough said.
Park’s son told CBS4 by phone he’s glad authorities have identified his father’s body. He hopes the discovery will provide enough helpful evidence to put Rhee away for life. He said Rhee and his father had fought over a land deal in Moab.
“The victim and the defendent were business partners. They had been in business together. They had an argument and Mr. Rhee murdered his business partner,” Kimbrough said.
The murder allegedly took place in Park’s office building on East Girard Avenue. An employee at a company there told CBS4 new carpet has been installed where the blood was found.
“When we came the carpet was ripped up the day after and police were investigating,” said Wade Lauer, who says he didn’t notice any trouble leading up to Park’s disappearance.
Rhee is set to appear in court in early October. He has pleaded not guilty.