- Police Seek Tips In Death Of Researcher
- By Mike Wells
- Columbia Daily Tribune Staff
- A retired research assistant professor at the University
of Missouri-Columbia died of multiple stab wounds before firefighters found
in his body in the trunk of a burning car Friday.
- Boone County Medical Examiner Valerie Rao said after
an autopsy that Jeong H. Im, 72, of Columbia was stabbed several times,
but she declined to elaborate.
- MU police yesterday named Im as the victim. His body
was found in the trunk of his burning white, 1995 Honda inside the Maryland
Avenue parking garage, MU police Capt. Brian Weimer said.
- The case was under investigation by the Mid-Missouri
Major Case Squad. No arrests had been made by last night.
- Weimer spoke to reporters at a news conference yesterday
in Jesse Hall but declined to discuss details such as whether a murder
weapon was recovered or the cause of the fire.
- Rao also was cautious about discussing the investigation.
Regarding questions on the estimated time of death, the number of wounds,
the type of weapon or the fire, she said, "We don't want to release
any of that information because it's so crucial to what the police are
- Police yesterday hadn't ruled out robbery as a motive.
- "All possibilities are being looked at right now,"
- Im was primarily a protein chemist. Mark McIntosh, chairman
of the MU department of molecular microbiology and immunology, said he
doubted the crime could have been the act of an angry student.
- "He's a 72-year-old and pretty much keeps to himself,
and so I can't imagine that it was anything more than some random act,"
- Police were trying to find an unknown person who used
a campus emergency phone to report the fire, Weimer said. Police want that
person to contact them again.
- Weimer also asked the public for help in identifying
a man - 6 feet to 6 feet, 2 inches tall - who was seen in the garage area
wearing some type of mask, possibly a drywall or painter's mask.
- That individual is a "person of interest,"
Weimer said, and not a suspect.
- "There could be a valid reason for someone like
this to be in the garage," he said.
- At about 6 p.m. Friday, MU Police Chief Jack Watring
activated the major case squad. It's the first homicide investigation on
the campus in nearly 16 years. The request drew in 28 squad members from
various law enforcement agencies, including the Columbia Police Department
and the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
- Im's wife, Tesuk Im, declined comment yesterday when
contacted at her Columbia home.
- The parking garage serves employees of MU and University
of Missouri Health Care as well as employees of and visitors to the Mid-Missouri
Mental Health Center.
- Weimer said investigators were still trying to determine
the timeframe for the crime. Anyone who was in or near the garage from
early morning to afternoon Friday has been asked to call MU police at 882-7203
or CrimeStoppers at 875-8477.
- "By all means, let us sort it out," he said.
"Please, give us a call and let us know what you saw."
- Tribune reporter Megan Means contributed to this report.
- Identification of mycoplasma membrane proteins by
- systematic TnphoA mutagenesis of a recombinant library
- Catherine M. Cleavinger, Mary F. Kim, Jeong H. Im and
Kim S. Wise*
- Wall-less prokaryotes in the genus Mycoplasma include
over 90 species of infectious agents whose pathogenicity for humans and
other animals is currently being assessed. Molecular characterization of
surface proteins is critical in this regard but is hampered by the lack
of genetic systems in these organisms. We used TnphoA transposition to
systematically mutagenize, in Escherichia coli, a genomic plasmid library
constructed from Mycoplasma fermentans, a potential human pathogen. The
strategy circumvented problems of expressing mycoplasma genes containing
UGA (Trp) codons and relied on the construction of the vector pG7ZCW, designed
to reduce TnphoA transposition into vector sequences. Functional phoA gene
fusions directly identified genes encoding 19 putative membrane-associated
proteins of M. fermentans. Sequences of fusion constructs defined three
types of export sequence: (1) non-cleavable, membrane-spanning sequences,
(2) signal peptides with signal peptidase (SPase) I-like cleavage sites,
and (3) signal peptides with SPase II-like lipoprotein-cleavage sites which,
like most other mycoplasmal lipoprotein signals analysed to date, differed
from those in several Gram-negative and Gram-positive eubacteria in their
lack of a Leu residue at the 3 position. Antibodies to synthetic peptides
that were deduced from two fusions to predicted lipoproteins, identified
corresponding amphiphilic membrane proteins of 57 kDa and 78 kDa expressed
in the mycoplasma. The P57 sequence contained a proline-rich N-terminal
region analogous to an adhesin of Mycoplasma gallisepticum. The P78 protein
was identical to a serologically defined phase-variant surface lipoprotein.
TnphoA mutagenesis provides an efficient means of systematically characterizing
functionally diverse lipoproteins and other exported proteins in mycoplasmas.
- Full PDF paper: