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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.

Copyright © 2006 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.




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