Kim's effort called 'nothing short of heroic'
By Lara Moscrip, Jenna Lane and Brent Begin,
Bay City News Service
December 7, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) -James Kim was remembered yesterday
as a man so determined to find help for his family, stranded in
the Oregon wilderness for a week, that he made his way through
terrain even experienced searchers found challenging.
"He was very motivated,'' Josephine County, Ore. Undersheriff
Brian Anderson said at a news briefing this afternoon. "We
were having difficulty in there. He traveled a long distance.
I think we're talking about five miles. That was some of our frustration
-- we could never seem to get ahead of him.''
Kim's body was found shortly after noon yesterday within a half
mile of the Rogue River, approximately five miles down the Big
Windy Creek drainage area where search and rescue crews had concentrated
their efforts, Anderson said.
Kim's wife and two young daughters were found in their stranded
car on Monday. Kim had left them to find help on Saturday, one
week after they went missing.
At CNET Networks in San Francisco, where Kim worked, the CEO
stood among roses strewn on the steps this afternoon and commended
the father and husband for being "nothing short of heroic''
in attempting to bring his family to safety.
Neil Ashe described Kim as a popular on-camera personality for
CNET who has inspired many.
"His story is one that should be acknowledged,'' Ashe said.
"We're not surprised by all of the attention.''
Sarah Cain, who worked with Kim during his three years at CNET,
said, "You can see his personality on our Web site. He's
friendly, funny, vibrant, a wonderful guy.''
Co-workers at the company of about 800 people gathered in the
South of Market building to watch a live broadcast of Oregon authorities'
announcement Kim did not survive, Cain said, and they planned
to stick together through the afternoon. "We want to be around
people who knew him,'' she said.
"It's rough,'' Cain said. "We really thought there
was going to be a good outcome.''
She also noted that the company's holiday party, which was scheduled
for tonight, has been canceled.
Two stores run by Kim's wife, Kati, closed their doors this afternoon.
At Doe in the Lower Haight, half a dozen bouquets of flowers
had been placed out front by 2 p.m.
Peter Helmenstine, who knelt weeping in front of the store, described
himself as a friend and part of the "geek community'' that
had rallied resources for a massive search.
"The amount of resources they put together was more than
the police could ever put together,'' Helmenstine said.
On the Web site JamesandKati.com, friend Scott Nelson Windels
posted a statement this afternoon that read, "We want to
send out our utmost thanks to the search and rescue teams who
risked their lives in the efforts to bring James back to us.
"They are true heroes to risk their own lives for a stranger.
As friends we know that we did everything we could to help in
the search for the Kim family, which is our only comfort now,''
Nelson Windels wrote.
Anderson described the effort to find the Kims as "a rather
massive search effort'' and said it probably could not have been
possible without the family's support.
"We are hampered sometimes on getting resources in,'' Anderson
said. "To have the availability of three helicopters like
this is unheard of for us.''
It was from a helicopter that a pilot spotted Kim's body yesterday,
according to Oregon State Police Lt. Gregg Hastings. Two SWAT
team members were lowered to the site and confirmed that Kim was
dead, he said.
Kim's body was being taken this afternoon to the Oregon State
Police crime lab, where an autopsy should help investigators determine
exactly when and how he died.
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