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Detectives Working To Solve 15-Year Old Cold Case In Twin Falls
May marks the 15 year anniversary of what Twin Falls detectives call one of the most bizarre homicide cases they've seen. Now, the crime is just one of a few unsolved murders still on the books.
Staff Sgt. Dan Lewin says every detective has that one case, and this is his.
Lewin says, "I've always believed that there's someone out there, there's probably more than one individual out there, that might have information, that might specifically know who committed this crime."
He was one of the first detectives on the scene of the crime in 1997. Su Cha Kim's body was found in the business she owned, Lee's Oriental Massage parlor, which used to be in the 1100 block of Blue Lakes Blvd.
The business the building houses now is different, but the unanswered questions remain the same.
Staff Sgt. Lewin asks, "First and foremost, why? It's very senseless. Why, if the motive was theft or robbery, I think that's first and foremost in my mind, why did this person have to die? And whether or not they've remained in the area or if they're elsewhere. And I think one of the things that weighs most heavily on my mind is have they done it since?"
Questions detectives still don't have answers to, but what they do have is surveillance video showing the man they believe was the last person to see Kim alive. The video shows him using her credit card across the Pacific Northwest.
Lewin says, "In this case in particular, shortly after, in fact while we were still evaluating the crime scene, we received information that Su Cha Kim's credit card was being used in the Boise area. And it seemed that we were just one step behind each use of the credit card."
Detectives can't prove this is the man who killed Kim, but say they're certain there's a link.
Lewin says, "I mean, is this a client? Is this someone that went to the business and then decided for whatever reason, and what caused that, you know? Is the card user the same person responsible for her death? That would have to be determined. But it's certainly a good lead."
A lead that ends with a composite sketch. Now, it's up to detectives to find him.
Lewin says the search won't stop until justice has been served for detectives and for Kim's family.
He explains why, "One of the things that sticks with me is Su Cha Kim's sister who came from out of state once notified of her sister's death, when the family was leaving, looked at me, shook my hand and kind of gave me soft hug and very earnestly asked that I find the person who did this."
A request Lewin says he doesn't take lightly.
Lewin says, "We're the voice for the victim. We speak on their behalf and you kind of make a promise to somebody like that, to the family members that I will, I'll try everything possible to do that, and it stays with you."
Until answers are found, detectives say they'll continue searching for the missing pieces of the massage parlor murder.
The Twin Falls Police Department is still actively working to close this cold case. Detectives recently sent out letters to agencies in the northwest, along the I-84 corridor, asking them to look at their older case files to find crimes that fit the profile.
If you have any information about the murder of Su Cha Kim, call the Twin Falls Police Department at (208) 735-4357.