A 61-year-old Anne Arundel woman who had been missing for five days and believed to have been carrying $7,000 in cash died as a result of a stab wound to the neck, Laurel police said yesterday.
Laurel Sgt. Joseph Ramey said that police had no motive or suspect in the death of Yong Cha Pak, whose body was found Saturday morning in the front seat of her partially burned car in the Laurel Centre shopping complex.
Ramey said an autopsy report released yesterday by the state medical examiner's office in Baltimore indicated that Pak had been stabbed once in the neck with a sharp object and died from the wound. Pak had been dead for more than 24 hours when her body was discovered, police said.
Yesterday, police had few explanations of why Pak's body was at the Laurel shopping center, which is off Rte. 1, and what had happened to the woman since her disappearance.
Pak left her home at 7840
Metacomet Rd. in Hanover, a neighborhood in northwest Anne Arundel County about 10 miles from Laurel, on Monday afternoon in her 1984 Oldsmobile Delta 88, relatives told police.
They said they did not know where she was going. Her family reported her missing Tuesday.
However, relatives said yesterday that Pak, who moved to the United States with her five children about eight years ago, often went to the Laurel shopping center for lunch.
At the time Pak's body was discovered in her car, on the edge of an employee parking lot outside the Jamesway store, her family was at the shopping center distributing fliers offering a $10,000 reward.
Ramey said police had not recovered any of the $7,000 Pak is believed to have been carrying. Part of the money was collected for a senior citizens bus trip to Atlantic City, N.J., planned for last Saturday.
Police speculate that the Pak's car was set on fire to destroy evidence of the crime. Pak received superficial burns on her face, hands and legs, and her clothing was partially burned, police said.
Relatives said Pak held several jobs, including factory work and a position in a Fort Meade commissary.