OC Exec Confesses to Murdering Business Partner, Sending Phony E-mails From Victim's Account Pretending He Was in Africa But Now He Won't Say Where Body Is
A business executive in Orange County finally confessed this week to killing his partner Christopher Ryan Smith in June 2010 and sending phony e-mails from Smith's account, so that his family would think that he was on a trip to Africa.
The plan of confessed murderer Edward Shin worked for a while. Even if the tone of his e-mails weren't right, the stories he told about paragliding in Johannesburg and sandboarding in South Africa were consistent with Smith's adventurous persona, according to a story in the Los Angeles Times.
This December Shin wrote that Smith was going into the Congo and Rwanda, and he stopped e-mailing the family. That's when things began to unravel for Shin. Smith's family alerted the authorities and hired a private investigator, which uncovered Shin's past offenses as an embezzler. Gradually, they learned that Smith had never even left the country. Investigators set their sights on Shin and began monitoring the father of three who lived with his family in Irvine.
Authorities arrested him this week, just as he was about to get on a plane to Canada. When they interrogated him, he confessed to the whole thing.
Shin and Smith were executives together at an advertising and marketing company called 800xchange in San Juan Capistrano, and in the months before the killing they had argued about money. Shin said he was going to buy out Smith for $1 million. Instead, he killed him.
But now Shin won't say what he did with Smith's body and his family is appealing to the public for any clues about what happened to their son.