4-year-old murder case still stumps police

Four years later investigators with the University of Missouri Police Department are still baffled by a mysterious murder.

On Jan. 7, 2005 someone called 911 to report a car was on fire in the Maryland Avenue parking garage on the university campus.

Authorities found the remains of retired research scientist Professor Jeong Im in the trunk of his burnt car. An autopsy report said that Im was stabbed several times before he was thrown in the trunk.

However, police have not deemed the murder a cold case and continue to search for answers.

Police do not have a suspect, but they do have a person of interest. A hooded mask man was seen leaving the scene carrying a red gas can.

"We TMre trying to discover an individual that was in the area at that time, University of Missouri Police Department Capt. Brian Weimer said. The best description that we have of him is listed on our website. We can TMt say for sure that they were suspect. They simply could have been a person that was in the garage during that time. We definitely want to make contact with that individual and talk to them to see what they may have seen because it would have been about the time that we feel this happened."

There is another piece of evidence; Im was stabbed by an Old Hickory knife. Police also said that there was no indication of a robbery.

Investigators recently put up a YouTube video that recaps the facts of the murder in hopes to get some leads from the public.

So far, nothing.

Shortly after Im TMs death, conspiracy theories about the motive surfaced. Some say he was the 40th microbiologist to mysteriously die during a four year period. Others said terrorists were killing people who did research in vaccine and bio-weapons.

"There was a conspiracy theory out there that microbiologists were being killed and targeted in the United States. That was looked into, Weimer said. There, in no way, appears to be any connection to this case, at all.

Police continue the search. However, now are asking for help from the public.

"A lot of times, people do not feel that they have any information, or it would be so irrelevant or so small that wouldn TMt help, Weimer said. We TMre looking for all of that because one small piece could make the puzzle come together."

There is a $25,000 reward for anyone who has information that will lead police to a suspect.

If you have any information about this murder, police urge you to call Columbia CrimeStoppers at 875-TIPS or 866-362-6422 or log onto and you could eligible for the reward.