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James Kim Obituary

MERLIN, Ore. (AP) - A San Francisco man was found dead in a mountain creek Wednesday, four days after he set out through the snowy wilderness to seek help for his wife and young daughters, stranded in a car.

A search helicopter spotted James Kim's body about a mile from where he set out in Oregon's snowy Klamath Mountains, two days after his wife and two daughters were rescued from the vehicle, stuck on a remote road. Investigators believe he traveled about eight miles in total, and said there was no way he could have reached the car directly from where he was found.

Kim's body was found at the foot of the Big Windy Creek drainage, a half-mile from the Rogue River, where ground crews and helicopters had been searching for days.

A tearful Undersheriff Brian Anderson announced the discovery of the body, his voice breaking at one point.

"He was very motivated," Anderson said. "We were having trouble in there. He traveled a long distance."

He said he had few details about Kim's condition or the immediate area where he was found.

The body was taken to Central Point for an autopsy, the results of which are expected to be released Thursday.

Earlier in the day, searchers said they had uncovered clues that suggested Kim had shed clothing and arranged it to give searchers clues to his whereabouts. They had planned to drop rescue packages with clothing, emergency gear and provisions.

Kim, 35, was a senior editor for the technology media company CNET Networks Inc. He and his family had been missing since Nov. 25. They were heading home to San Francisco after a family vacation in the Pacific Northwest.

Kim's wife, Kati, 30, and their daughters Penelope, 4, and Sabine, 7 months, were rescued Monday at their car. She told officers that the couple made a wrong turn and became stuck in the snow nearly two weeks before. They used their car heater until they ran out of gas, then burned tires to stay warm and attract attention. With only a few jars of baby food and limited supplies, Kati Kim nursed her children.

The key to finding them, police said, was a "ping" from one of the family's cell phones that helped narrow down their location.

Roads in the area are often not plowed in the winter and can become impassable.

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Copyright © 2006 The Associated Press

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Published in Mercury News on December 6, 2006
An Oregon law enforcement official got choked up today when he announced the dreaded news: James Kim - who had left rescuers a trail of clues after setting out into the rugged,icy Oregon mountains to... Read Obituary

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