The footsteps of the killer led straight to their motive, but police say the secret hidden in the unusual prints may be why the murder case of Yong Suk Yun continues to go unsolved.
"I think American country is a dream country,” his wife Sun Hui Jung told the News4 I-Team. “You work hard, you make money."
Jung said she and her husband were born in South Korea but didn’t meet until after he arrived in the United States with just $300 in his pocket.
"He was wonderful,” Jung said with a smile. “He's very handsome, very good looking man."
Jung said they first fell in love and then saved enough money to buy a car wash.
"He and I, very good team," she explained. “We were working very hard. I working with him, he working. We make good money there. Then we buy another business, car wash again. Then we buy again."
Their Dr. Wash on Route 50 in Chantilly, Virginia, turned into the American Dream they so longed for until, she said, everything went wrong Oct. 7, 2010.
"This is the most violent scene I have ever seen," Fairfax County Police Detective Connie Morris told the I-Team as she looked over the evidence she gathered from inside Jung and Yun’s home near Fairfax County Parkway.
Jung was supposed to be at home that morning, not her husband, Morris said, but when his friends canceled their regular Thursday morning golf game, she went to the store and Yun stayed home.
"It's quite possible that whoever went there, that they didn't expect him to be there,” Morris said. “They were surprised. That's possibly why they use weapons from the house."
Carefully unwrapping evidence never before shown to the public, police revealed the two kitchen knives, stored inside the couple’s garage, which were used to stab Yun more than a dozen times.
Morris pointed to one of the knives and explained how they found the handle in a different location from its serrated blade.
"Someone with a lot of anger or some kind of emotion that would give that much strength to be able to break the knife in the middle of a fight," Morris said.
Yun was a black belt, Morris said, and police can tell he fought for his life, hitting back so hard he broke bones in his hands.
But she wonders what made the vertical marks on his neck and head. They are evenly spaced and probably connected to the unusual T-shaped puncture wounds police also found all over Yun’s body, Morris said.
Morris wonders if it was some kind of unusual martial arts weapon or a tool someone normally stored in their car.
Police never recovered that weapon and now are asking for the public’s help to identify what it might be, releasing photos of the vertical marks and a police sketch of a T-shaped wound for the first time.
The dynamic of the injuries makes it possible more than one person attacked Yun, Morris said.
She showed an evidence photo showing two bloody footprints found next to Yun’s body in the garage.
When police looked carefully at the prints, they realized they were actually made by socks, Morris said.
Jung and Morris said that may be a critical clue.
“It's very important, when you go to somebody house, automatically you take your shoes off,” Jung explained. “When you was young, we learned that way. Take your shoes off. When I go to anybody's house, I take shoes off."
And that, Morris said, is why “it leads us in a direction of whether the person there was familiar with our victim, whether it was a cultural thing. Why they had their shoes off or whether the victim knew who was there."
The sock prints at first seemed to lead nowhere, until police sprayed a chemical called luminol onto the garage floor, Morris said.
By reacting with trace amounts of invisible blood, blue sock prints suddenly lit up the floor and led police up the steps and straight to a secret hiding place where Yun and Jung hid a large amount of cash.
Both the money and Jung’s gold SUV vanished after the attack, Morris said. The SUV reappeared four days later and about 10 miles away on Americana Drive in a mostly Korean-Latino neighborhood in Annandale.
This is the only homicide Morris never solved.
"I know there's somebody out there that knows something about this crime," she said.
She’s asking you to look at the pictures of the SUV and tell police if you remember seeing it in your neighborhood. Look at the wound patterns and help her figure out what kind of weapon left those marks on Yun’s body. Tell her if you’ve ever heard someone brag about the crime. Anyone who knows anything, no matter how insignificant it may seem, should contact Fairfax County Crime Solvers.
"We haven’t gotten many tips,” on this case, she said, explaining how Jung and others from their community have told her some Korean immigrants don’t trust the police. “We've learned that culturally, they're a lot more closed off to providing information to the police, so that has made things very difficult."
But Jung is begging her neighbors to step forward if they know anything. She at first said, “Korean people should know police help them,” before turning to a police officer sitting next to her to speak in Korean.
“She's trying to explain Korean police officers are here to assist, to help, that if they provide any information, they would not be harmed in return," Officer Hyun Chang translated.
Chang is also Korean American and said he has worked this case from the very beginning. Anyone with information can remain anonymous, he said, and he’s ready to translate for them if they’re not a native English speaker.
But even Chang couldn’t help Jung put words together to explain how much she loved her husband and how his murder destroyed their American Dream.
"I miss him every, oh," she said before choking up and starting to cry. “Whatever I do, he’s there. He’s my-- I miss him so.”
Reported by Tisha Thompson, and shot and edited by Steve Jones and Jeff Piper.