2013-09-26 / Front Page

FLASH: Body Found in Hudson River, Thought to Be Killer Suspect

Sheriff Confirms Kim's Identity at 4pm
Courier Staff

News Flash

Sheriff Don Smith confirmed at 4 p.m. Monday that the body found in the Hudson River Monday morning just south of the Bear Mountain Bridge has been positively identified as that of shooting suspect Sang Ho Kim, 63.

Around 8:50 a.m. police were notified of the presence of the body near Iona Island, off Stony Point.

Cold Spring Mayor J. Ralph Falloon told the PCN&R Monday morning he was confident the body wass indeed the suspect's. He said the clothing on the body matched the description of the suspect although further forensics needed to be done. The body was taken to the Rockland Medical Examiner's office for examination.

In a news conference Friday afternoon, one of the prospects that Sheriff Don Smith raised was that Kim could well have killed himself, but the body simply hadn't been found yet. Little Stony Point has been used in the past as a place to simply walk into the river, and commit suicide.


Earlier story, from Saturday:


The search for shooting suspect Sang Ho Kim, the 63-year-old Queens man suspected in the fatal shooting of a Long Island businessman on Wednesday, has ended.

Captain William McNamara of the Sheriff’s Department said Saturday while the “active pursuit of Mr. Kim has been stopped, police will continue to be on the alert for the suspect. Patrols will remain in the community providing a police presence but the active hunt has been halted.”

More than 150 police officers from agencies on the local, state and federal level have been searching the Cold Spring-Philipstown area since early Thursday after Kim’s SUV was found abandoned at Sandy Beach off Route 9D.

Despite a search from the land, ground and water, Kim has not been found.

Earlier story, from Friday evening:

Sheriff Donald Smith says the massive manhunt for accused workplace killer from Long Island – whose car was found in the Little Stony Point area – will be scaled back, now that all notable trails and many other parts of the Hudson Highlands Park have been searched by foot, ATV and air.

He said late Friday afternoon that searching will continue on the Hudson River, using a boat equipped with side scan sonar from Westchester County. The Sheriff’s Department’s own Zodiac is being used to search the shallow areas of the Hudson.

Nassau County Chief of Police Steven E. Skrynecki, also at the news conference, said the investigation into the slaying remains highly active. He said he wanted to thank local law enforcement for their aid, and see the rugged terrain in the Breakneck Ridge area for himself. He would not comment on rumors the suspect, Sang Ho Kim, may have left a suicide note or killed himself.

“We still consider this man to be a very dangerous man until he is in custody,” the Nassau chief said.

Police also are evaluating the suspect’s past associations with the area. “We don’t know if he did hike here, or not,” the Nassau chief said. “It’s something we are exploring.” And, he said it’s possible the suspect remains here, but it’s also possible he’s not.

Smith said all notable trails from Cold Spring north and in the Breakneck Ridge area had been searched, by foot, by officers on ATVs, and by air. “Basically, we have searched everywhere we can put people,” he said. “We have not found a trace of him.”

The sheriff said it is possible – but not known – that the suspect killed himself. Noting past suicides in the Hudson River, he identified that as one prospect, though no evidence has surfaced yet.

He also said it’s possible a hiker may find evidence of the suspect months from now in the park area.

Smith said a heavy police presence will be maintained throughout the greater Cold Spring area this weekend, including on trails, at the Haldane football game, and at the Haldane Booster Club Car Show. He also said hikers may be helpful in finding additional clues or information. Flyers will be distributed at trailheads this weekend.

The department will maintain a presence at the Garrison and Haldane schools into next week, and then evaluate further, he said.

The search consumed greater Philipstown on Thursday, and Haldane schools, initially a command center, closed for the day. School at Garrison and Putnam Valley continued, and all three were open Friday.

Earlier story, midday Friday:

Mayor J. Ralph Falloon said an intensive search continues for the suspect in a Long Island workplace slaying Friday, and he said he is now hearing regular updates at the command post from the Sheriff’s Department of all information that can be shared.

That’s a far cry from early in the massive manhunt Thursday morning when the FBI shared no information with Cold Spring authorities, neither Falloon nor the Cold Spring Police.

“The FBI chose not to share any information,” Falloon said Friday midday. “I found out when my phone rang with the school (closing) information.”

Falloon said he was, in fact, asked to leave the command post at the Haldane cafeteria about 8 a.m. Friday, when he went there seeking information. He explained that he need to tell the citizens of Cold Spring something about what was occurring, especially as low-flying helicopters searched near the village. He said he was told to call the FBI office in White Plains, which he and village Clerk Mary Saari did. They had to leave a voice mail, which is yet to be returned.

About 10 a.m. Thursday, control of the command post shifted to the Sheriff’s Department, and access immediately improved. “Now, I’m welcome, and they share all the information they’re allowed to share,” he said.

Falloon said that except for the FBI, all other agencies, such as the State Police and Sheriff’s, have been “extremely cooperative and professional.”

Falloon said of the search for Sang Ho Kim, described as an Asian-American male, 6’2” tall, and last seen wearing a red shirt and gray or black suit jacket, that “he could be anywhere.” He said law enforcement is “doing due to diligence to make sure he’s not here.”

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