MILLEN, Ga. (WJBF) – After more than 35 years, the GBI identified a Jane Doe found in Jenkins County. Her case is the first one featured in our 2021 Cold Case Project.
It was Valentine’s Day 1988 when someone discovered a body in a trash can. It was in the area where the Millen Bypass connects to Old Perkins Road.
“I inherited this one, but it’s still a good feeling to take one off the cold case list,” said Jenkins County Sheriff Robert Oglesby.
Three cold cases in Jenkins County and now Sheriff Robert Oglesby has a big break in one of them, the Jenkins County Jane Doe. The GBI has identified the 26-year-old, whose body was found in 1988 as Chong Un Kim. She moved from Korea to the United States in 1981 and lived in Hinesville, Georgia, near Fort Stewart. Sheriff Oglesby credits the GBI for its work in identifying the 35 year old remains only known to be an Asian woman, five feet tall and around 140 pounds.
“There were several people that were talked to and thought they might have seen something, but nothing ever really panned out,” Sheriff Oglesby said.
Back in November of 2021, Cold Case Project featured the Jenkins County Jane Doe, visiting The Millen News to see how she was described in order to help bring her family justice. GBI shared a composite drawing in the paper, identifying her crowded front upper teeth. Joe Brady, now owner of The Jenkins County Times, ran The Millen News then and allowed us to bring in our cameras to help ID Jane Doe.
“Without the media help, she would have just faded away into the woodwork,” said Joe Brady, The Jenkins County Times Editor & Owner.
GBI reports after looking into fingerprints, dental records and sharing Kim’s sketch with the public, investigators moved to DNA technology. Texas based Othram, which uses Forensic Grade Genome Sequencing, helped identify Kim and positively match her to her family.
Cold Case Project spoke with Dr. Kristen Mittelman, the Chief Development Officer for Othram.
“We tested the blanket that had some DNA from her transferred on to it. We were able to build a DNA profile.”
A genealogical search also helped ID Kim. Investigators are trying to narrow down her timeline in Georgia in the 80s and determine her ties to Liberty and Jenkins Counties. We learned from GBI that Kim’s sister lives in New York.
Sheriff Oglesby added, “I am not going to jump in there and try to snatch it from the GBI when they’ve come this far with it.”
While the identity of Chong Un Kim is a first step. The GBI is still working to find out who killed her. We will continue to follow this story.
Photojournalist: Gary Hipps
MILLEN, Ga. (WJBF) – The GBI has identified human remains found in a dumpster in Jenkins County on February 14, 1988, as Chong Un Kim, of Hinesville, Georgia. Kim was 26 years old when she was found.
Chong Un Kim came to the United States from Korea in 1981 and lived in Hinesville, Georgia for years before her death in 1988.
On the afternoon of Sunday, February 14, 1988, the GBI received a request from the Jenkins County Sheriff’s Office to assist with a death investigation. The victim, wrapped with plastic and duct tape, was found inside a large, nylon suitcase that had been placed in a dumpster just north of Millen, GA in Jenkins County. The victim had been dead for about four to seven days. The cause of death was asphyxiation.
The GBI is asking anyone who may have known Chong Un Kim, or has any information about this case, to contact the GBI at 912-871-1121. Anonymous tips can also be submitted by calling 1-800-597-TIPS (8477), online at https://gbi.georgia.gov/submit-tips-online, or by downloading the See Something, Send Something mobile app.