Kids burned in car expected trip to movies
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl event160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! LOS ANGELES – A man recently separated from his wife burned their two children to death by setting fire to his SUV in a downtown alley during what was planned as a trip to the movies, police alleged Monday. Dae Kwon Yun, 54, was found near the sport utility vehicle on Sunday with severe burns on his face, hands and legs, authorities said. He was hospitalized in critical condition but was expected to survive, and will be booked for investigation of murder, police said. “Detectives believe the killings were related to the estrangement of Yun and his wife,” a police statement said. Police tentatively identified the dead as Ashley Yun, 11, and Alexander Yun, 10, noting that positive identification was difficult because the bodies were so severely burned. It wasn’t clear if Yun intended to kill himself along with his children and then changed his mind, Detective Vic Pietrantoni said. Police did not know if the SUV doors were locked to prevent the children from escaping. “All the doors were open when we found the car, but the fire may have forced them open,” Pietrantoni said. “We need to talk to the father to find out what he was thinking.” The wife, Ok Ma Sun, owns a T-shirt shop in the downtown Garment District and had been separated for about two weeks from Yun, who was living in his vehicle, authorities said. Court documents show she filed for divorce March 28. Yun may also have been distraught over a gambling debt, his wife told police. “He was always mad,” said Miriam Sandoval, 24, who owns a nearby shop. “He was one of those people who would never even smile at you.” Eunice Kwak, 41, who works across the street, described Yun as angry but said she never witnessed physical violence. “He’s up and down. He didn’t control his anger,” Kwak said. The children had planned to go the movies with their father on Sunday, and Yun’s wife expected them back that evening, police said. Witnesses told police they saw Yun arguing in Korean with his daughter outside the SUV in the alley. The SUV erupted into flames just moments after Yun forced the girl into the vehicle then sat in the front passenger seat, police said. As the car burned from the inside, Yun opened the door and rolled out, police said. Firefighters reached the SUV about 4:45 p.m. and discovered the bodies after extinguishing the fire. Hee Sang Yoon, a spokesman for the Korean Consulate in Los Angeles, said divorce is on the rise in the Korean community. But culturally, when it comes to children, the battles are not vicious, he said. “This kind of event is shocking,” he said. The consulate had no further information on the incident or the family. Yun was arrested in May 2004 for investigation of domestic violence after a woman called 911 and whispered to a dispatcher that her husband hit her and was still in their home, said Monterey Park police Capt. Eric Kim. “Before we were able to get more information from her, the line was disconnected,” Kim said. “Our officers got on the scene and did a preliminary investigation. Then we arrested him for domestic violence.” Kim declined to release the caller’s name, citing a policy of confidentiality concerning domestic violence victims. Police forwarded that investigation to prosecutors, Kim said, but he didn’t know the outcome of the case. Sun’s shop, not far from the vehicle fire, was closed Monday, with white metal screens covering the entrance.