Authorities did not say what set off the argument.
Officers were called for a welfare check around 7:15 a.m. Sunday to the building in the 5900 block of Emerson Street, according to police. They found Pak dead at the scene with trauma to her upper body.
An initial investigation found that Oh and Pak were in a “dispute prior to the murder.” Police said that Oh “struck the victim multiple times with a brick.” Oh then called 911, police said.
Pak’s eldest grandson, Andy Kwon, said that when he heard of the death, he instantly became angry as he wondered “who in their right mind, or what kind of evil, had to creep up to take my grandmother’s life?”
Anger turned to shock when he heard that another elderly woman was accused of the crime.
Kwon said his family is left with memories of his grandmother, a single mother from South Korea who came to the United States in the 1980s and was the linchpin of their family.
When each of her nine grandchildren was born, Pak joined their households to take care of the children while their parents worked, said Kwon, who is stationed with the Army at Fort Bragg.
One of his fondest memories was watching his tiny grandmother accompany him on the four-mile walk to his Rockville home after martial arts practice, carrying his heavy duffel bag filled with gear.
“She helped raise all of us,” Kwon said. “She literally bounced from house to house to take care of her grandchildren.”
Pak became a great-grandmother of three, and whenever any of her children or grandchildren came to visit her apartment, Kwon said, his grandmother prepared “a smorgasbord” of traditional Korean delicacies she laid out across her six-foot dining table: short ribs, mild and spicy pork belly, stuffed pancakes, egg-crusted fried fish, and Kwon’s favorite, spicy beef soup.
“Every inch of that table was filled with food,” Kwon said. “She gave up so much of her youth and her later life for us.”
Officials said Oh is charged with first- and second-degree murder and is being held with no bond at the Department of Corrections. The Prince George’s County Police Department investigates all homicides in Bladensburg.
Kwon said the majority of his family is deeply religious and wanted to keep the woman arrested — who Kwon said was not someone he knew — in their prayers.
“We would also like to extend a prayer to this lady; God is our creator, and in the end, he judges us by everything we say and do,” Kwon said. “Her judgment will be before God. We pray God will show mercy to her.”
An earlier version of this story incorrectly said Hwa Cha Pak had one son. Pak had four children, three sons and a daughter.
Magda Jean-Louis contributed to this report.