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Cops: Sang Ho Kim identified as body in Hudson

A body found floating in the Hudson River

A body found floating in the Hudson River near Iona island, left, has been identified as East Garden City double-shooting suspect Sang Ho Kim, right, Nassau police said. (Sept. 30, 2013) Photo Credit: Craig Ruttle, NCPD

The Queens man who police said opened fire last week in East Garden City, killing a worker and seriously wounding a business owner, was found dead Monday floating on the Hudson River upstate near the Bear Mountain Bridge.

Sang Ho Kim, 63, was identified through fingerprints, Nassau police said. Officials have not disclosed the cause or manner of his death, but State Police said it appeared Kim had been in the water for several days.

The discovery of Kim's body on the Hudson near Iona Island and the Bear Mountain Bridge in Stony Point was reported to State Park Police about 8:50 a.m. Monday, officials said. Nassau police officials were called in to assist with the identification, officials said.

It capped a nearly weeklong manhunt that extended upstate and included infrared sensors and cellphone tracking signals.

Nassau police said Kim, a vendor for Savenergy Inc., a lighting efficiency company near the Roosevelt Field mall, walked into its offices about 10 a.m. last Wednesday. Soon after, he shot and killed Zachariah Yong Jae Shin, 25, of Whitestone, Queens, and seriously wounded executive John Hyung Choi, of Woodmere. Choi's condition was upgraded Monday to stable at a hospital in the North Shore-LIJ system, a hospital spokesman said.

Police have not given a motive for the shooting but a law enforcement source and Kim's family members said he believed he had been cheated out of money by Savenergy. Friends and family close to Choi said the executive had confronted Kim about not following company guidelines and raised questions about commissions the vendor made.

Kim fled after the shooting in his Honda Pilot sport utility vehicle. Two hours later, his family said, Kim left a voice mail message threatening suicide. His vehicle was found later that night upstate in Cold Spring, a Putnam County village on the east side of the Hudson River just north of the U.S. Military Academy.

It's unclear where Kim entered the river. People familiar with the conditions in that area said it's possible a strong current could have moved the body.

Daniel Holland, of Morristown, who keeps his speedboat at the Stony Point Bay Marina, just a few miles south from where Kim's body was found, said the current "rips very hard" all over the Hudson, and the water is up to 100-feet deep near the Bear Mountain Bridge.

"If the tide is going out, it's probably a 6-mile-per-hour current, I would imagine," Holland said, adding that he was out on the water Saturday and the river was moving fast. "The whole river moves fast when the tide is going out."

Reached by phone Monday, Kim's family said police officials had not told them how he died. Kim's sister and nephew said the scenic area on the Hudson where Kim's body was found is the same area where his mother's ashes were spread after her death several years ago.

"I'm pretty sure that's why he went there," said Kim's nephew, who declined to give his name.

With Maria Alvarez

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