Roommate arrested for murder of Orange County student

The roommate of a missing OC student and Army veteran, whose body was found in the wilderness, has been arrested in connection with her death, police announced Friday.

Maribel Ramos, 36, was last seen on surveillance video dropping off her rent check about 8:30 p.m. May 2 in Orange, said Lt. Dave Hill, with Orange police. She was reported missing by her family the following day.

Kwang Chol “K.C.” Joy was arrested on suspicion of murder in connection with Ramos’ murder, Hill said. Joy shared an apartment with Ramos. He spoke to the media on May 8 calling Ramos his “best friend” and the “only family I have.”

“I want her to come back, that’s all,” he said at the time.

Ramos’ body was found Thursday evening in a remote area of Modjeska Canyon in California after someone had reported a foul odor, police said.

She was set to graduate from Cal State Fullerton May 26 with a degree in criminal justice and had served eight years in the Army in South Korea and Iraq, according to the university’s student newspaper, the Daily Titan.

Ramos’ younger sister Lucy Gonzalez said her sister “accomplished all her goals.”

She was “a wonderful example of a Latina woman,” Gonzalez said.

Cal State Fullerton released this statement shortly after police announced that Ramos’ body had been found:

“Maribel was a beloved student and military veteran, who was actively engaged here on our campus and in the community. She was a wonderful role model for our students, faculty and staff. And we honor her for her past service to our country as an airborne paratrooper in the Army and her commitment to her education.”

In an email to NBC4’s Vikki Vargas, a man identifying himself as Ramos’ roommate said detectives had been speaking with him at least twice a day.

“Of course, my number one concern is safe return of Maribel. I miss her so much and I have been so depressed and stressed out and (sic) same time,” part of the email read.

Joy wrote that three detectives had been “asking redundant questions for a week” and confiscated his phone, forcing him to check and write his emails from a library.

He also suggested that Ramos and her new boyfriend met through an online dating site, and he made claims of the dangers of online dating.

“Anyway, keep on broadcasting. More people get informed about Maribel, better chance we will have,” he wrote.

A Craigslist ad associated with the same email address Joy used to contact NBC4 was posted on April 24. In that ad, Joy wrote that he is seeking a new apartment in the Orange or Huntington Beach area.

He says he recently moved to Orange County from Knoxville, Tenn., and was recently laid off but has enough “savings to keep me going for awhile (sic) and pay rent on time.”

“I am a social drinker, non-smoker, straight and I like to keep things clean,” the ad reads. “I am easy going and get along with most of people. If you have a dog, that would be great.”

Joy was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence in 2011 in Tennesse, court records show. He paid bail but skipped his court appearance, leading to an arrest warrant.

In 1986, he was charged with assault and battery, and a year later was charged with aggravated assault, according to court records. Both charges were dismissed.

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