FAIRFAX, Va. -- Fairfax County police are investigating whether a Korean-American teenager's death last year was caused by injuries sustained in a religious ritual, according to court records, and they are considering murder charges against her mother.
Rayoung Kim, 18, of Centreville died in July 2008 of blunt force trauma and asphyxiation, according to medical examiners. Her death was ruled a homicide.
According to an affidavit, Kim's brother told police that family members and two other persons had been performing a religious ritual on Kim in the family home before she lost consciousness.
Search warrants sought DNA samples from Kim's mother, Myong Kim, and Kim's 15-year-old brother. In the affidavit, Detective Robert A. Bond said he has good cause to believe that the DNA samples "will further link Myong Kim to the commission of the crime of murder."
Myong Kim denied having anything to do with her daughter's death, according to the affidavit.
Rayoung Kim's father, Kyung T. Kim, said Thursday in a brief phone interview that police have their facts wrong and he does not understand why his family is under investigation.
The affidavit provides no details on what type of religious ritual may have been performed.
Police spokeswoman Mary Ann Jennings declined to comment Thursday on the information contained in the affidavit. She said the police investigation continues and is currently waiting on forensic evidence.