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Suspect in family stabbing arrested at Bayside motel

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A love triangle ended in a bloody rampage Friday when the jealous boyfriend of a married Fresh Meadows woman stabbed the woman, her husband and two daughters, then tried to commit suicide by slitting his wrists in a Bayside motel room, police said.

The woman and her 7-year-old daughter died as a result of the early morning attack that occurred inside a three-story brick apartment building at 196-05 65th Crescent, a quiet residential area in the heart of Fresh Meadows.

Sook Kim, 34, died inside her home and her youngest daughter, Clara Kim, 7, died about five hours later at New York Hospital Medical Center Queens in Flushing. Kim’s husband, Hyun Sik Kim, 38, was treated and released from Elmhurst General Hospital last Saturday.

Police said the Kims’ older daughter, Estelle Kim, 8, was hospitalized in stable condition at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, but there was no record of her having been at that hospital.

The suspect, Moo Chul Shin, 30, of Springfield, Va., was charged with multiple counts of murder, including first-degree murder, a charge that could potentially be punishable by the death penalty, the Queens district attorney said. He is being held without bail on Riker’s Island.

“This appears to be a situation where a woman separated from her husband joined an individual in Virginia, then left him and came back to her husband and children in Queens,” said Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.

The violence began around 5:58 a.m. when Shin allegedly stabbed Hyun Sik Kim in the neck at 98th Street and 55th Avenue, outside Lefrak City, police said.

Authorities said Kim, who was on his way to work to drive a fruit delivery truck, jumped in a cab and told the driver to take him to a local police precinct.

At the 115th Precinct in Jackson Heights, Kim told police to check on his family at his home located on the first floor at 196-05 65th Crescent, a curved road in Fresh Meadows. Police from the 115th Precinct called police in the 107th Precinct in Fresh Meadows, who dispatched officers to the Kims’ home.

At around 6:15 a.m., police arrived at the Kims’ home and found the body of Sook Kim lying facedown in the living room, with a kitchen knife stuck in her abdomen, authorities said. Both daughters had been stabbed multiple times in the chest and stomach.

Estelle Kim managed to run from her home to her aunt’s home around the corner before losing consciousness, according to authorities. The aunt called 911 at 6:23 a.m., police said.

Police said Shin had driven to New York from Virginia in a green 1996 Ford Explorer on Thursday. According to published reports, Sook Kim had been troubled in recent days because Shin had been calling her regularly.

A member of the 111th Precinct in Bayside spotted Shin’s vehicle, with Virginia license plates, in the parking lot of the Anchor Motor Inn at 215th Street and Northern Boulevard around 2:45 p.m. Friday.

When officers entered Shin’s motel room, they found him lying in bed in a shirt and underwear with both of his wrists slit, police said. Shin was taken to New York Hospital Medical Center Queens where he was treated, then released to the custody of corrections authorities on Tuesday, the DA’s office said.

Last year there was one homicide within the 107th Precinct, down from four murders the previous year.

“I feel shocked that it would happen here,” said Audrey Korn, a Fresh Meadows neighbor who lives on the third floor of a building adjacent to the Kims’ apartment “We haven’t had anything like this. The little girls used to play outside.”

Korn, who has been living in her apartment for the past 28 years, said the Kims had moved into the apartment complex about a year ago.

“They kept to themselves. The man kept his car very clean,” said another neighbor, Judy Kreisler, who lives across the street from the Kims.

Kreisler said the incident did not make her feel less safe because it was a specific act of domestic violence, not a random killing.

    

Reach reporter Tien-Shun Lee by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com, or call 229-0300, ext. 155.

Updated 10:25 am, October 12, 2011
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