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Feb. 7, 2013 Volume 34, No. 18

Hoag had violent past, MU Police report

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Timothy Aaron Hoag in 2006. Courtesy of the Columbia Police Department

Over the past week, more information has emerged about the killer of a retired MU research assistant professor in 2005. But the killer’s motivation for the brazen crime and details of much of his life remain a mystery.

On Jan. 30, MU Police announced that Timothy Aaron Hoag murdered Professor Jeong H. Im eight years ago in the Maryland Avenue parking garage, thereby solving the most perplexing crime on campus in recent history. Investigators matched DNA retrieved from the crime site to Hoag’s, obtained after Hoag killed himself last summer at the age of 35 by jumping off a downtown Columbia parking garage. He left no suicide note.

Court records reveal that the Columbia resident was in and out of trouble for years, the most serious being a third-degree assault conviction in 2001. In that case, Hoag was described in a document as being 6 feet 7 inches tall and weighing about 230 pounds.

An MU Police Department investigation suggests Hoag was a quick-tempered, aggressive man. “Witnesses that we spoke to about Hoag described him as very violent,” Capt. Brian Weimer said. 

Even so, Hoag apparently never had a brush with campus police. Hoag is not in the department’s system, Weimer said.

At the time of his death, Im was working in Kim Wise’s microbiology lab in the School of Medicine. The majority of his research was with Dr. H.D. Kim,
chair of the pharmacology department.

After leaving the School of Medicine Jan. 7, 2005, Im headed to Level 3 of the Maryland Avenue parking garage, where Hoag stabbed him to death, MU police say.

Following the incident, MU installed video cameras in all garages to aid in identifying people engaged in criminal activity, Weimer said.