The Strange Story of How a Man Pretended to be His Murdered Girlfriend

A 24-year-old man, charged only as Mr. Lee by South Korean law is awaiting trial on charges of murdering his 26-year-old girlfriend, Sunny Kim.

As tragic as the case is, what makes it unusual is that for two weeks after Mr. Lee killed Sunny in a fit of rage when she tried to breakup with him, he impersonated her in an attempt to cover his tracks. Mr. Lee responded via email to a job offer Sunny had accepted on the day of her death and even texted numerous times with the young woman’s friends and family. Eventually, Mr. Lee turned himself in at a police station in Busan, South Korea on May 2nd and confessed to the murder.

In chilling detail, Mr Lee told police where they would be able to find Sunny’s remains, in a suitcase covered over with concrete and flowers planted in the dirt on top in the mountains of Jecheon. Mr. Lee also described to police that after he had killed her he began impersonating her and later attempted to kill himself by cutting his wrists.

“The way that he text[ed] me was how would my sister would text,” Kim’s sister, who has asked not to be named, told BuzzFeed News. “We think he may have gone through her phone to see how she usually contacts us. It was really shocking to see how someone can really hide what they did in that way.”


Sunny was an incredibly bright and fun young woman who friends and family say loved cooking, watching movies, and playing video games. From the age of 14, Sunny had studied abroad in the United States, attending the State University of New York in Albany before moving back home to Busan to take a job as a professor. Sunny would regularly text with her friends back in New York and told them she had recently began dating Mr. Lee. Over the course of their relationship, though, Mr. Lee became abusive towards Sunny, giving her black eyes and breaking several fingers. Sunny reported the abuse, but sadly charges were never brought against Mr. Lee.

For the family and friends of Sunny Kim, Mr. Lee’s actions have robbed them of a beautiful daughter and friend who worked hard, and had a bright future ahead of her. “My family is completely broken,” said Sunny’ sister. “We are all shattered into pieces. My mum and my grandma have had a total breakdown. My mum can’t sleep, and my dad has been giving her pills to help her sleep — she’s been awake all night crying.

College friends of Sunny had a memorial for her in New York last month to remember her as the loving friend she was.


“She was able to turn life’s smallest moments into wonderful experiences and memories and share it with the people close to her,” said a college friend. “Her realness was on another level; her love was on another level; and to have known her was truly a blessing.

Mr. Lee’s court date has not been announced yet.

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