Roommate Arrested In Mysterious Death Of OC Woman He Called 'The Only Family I Had'

The roommate of a 36-year-old Army veteran, who went missing for two weeks and was later discovered dumped in a canyon in Orange County, has been arrested in the woman's death.

Maribel Ramos' body was discovered on Thursday afternoon but it was not positively identified until yesterday, according to City News Service. Her 54-year-old roommate Kwang Chol Joy, also known as K.C. Joy, was arrested and booked on suspicion of murder yesterday.

Ramos served two tours of duty in Iraq as an Army sergeant. She was currently a graduate student at Cal State Fullerton who was preparing to graduate with a degree in criminal justice, Gonzalez told City News Service.

Joy was a suspect in the case even before Ramos' body was found. Police had confiscated his computer and cell phone, searched their apartment several times and asked him for DNA samples. Joy has spent the last few weeks being very vocal about how much he loved Ramos in TV and newspaper interviews and on Facebook, even though it made some of her other family and friends uncomfortable. He showed up to her vigil while she was still missing but he stood apart from the crowd awkwardly. He gave a slightly uncomfortable interview with KCAL (at the 1:20-minute mark):

He was also very vocal about how much he missed her on the Facebook page set up to find Ramos:


He changed his profile photo on Facebook to a photo of himself with Ramos:


That rankled family members and friends:

He said he wouldn't be able to help out with the Awareness Walk held for her:


Joy might have made things worse for himself on TV. A KCAL reporter speaking to friends and family while Ramos was still missing asked Joy why he had scratches in his arm: he said that he had been scratched by branches of a bush. (Sure, it's circumstantial, but worth noting that Ramos' body was found in the brush in Modjeska Canyon.) He also told the OC Register early on that Ramos was his best friend, and she was in his will. He called Ramos his "best friend" and the "only family I had."

The last time her sister Lucy Gonzalez talked to Ramos was on May 2 through a text. She told City News Service that Ramos had a roommate who had recently gotten a job somewhere else and was getting ready to move. But Joy told CBS Los Angeles that the two had had a fight before she disappeared. He said the fight wasn't a big deal, but she asked him to move out.

NBC Los Angeles found a Craigslist ad associated with Joy's e-mail address that said he was looking for a new apartment in the Orange or Huntington Beach area. He said he was recently laid off but has "savings to keep me going for awhile (sic) and pay rent on time." The ad said, "I am a social drinker, non-smoker, straight and I like to keep things clean. I am easy going and get along with most of people. If you have a dog, that would be great."

Joy had made violent threats before. He reportedly called his sister during a money dispute, threatening to shoot her and cut her body up, according to the OC Register (no link).

Right now he's being held in lieu of $1 million at the Intake Release Center in Santa Ana.