Details of Disappearance
Song was raised in Seoul, South Korea. She moved to the United States in 1995 to live with relatives in Springfield, Virginia near Alexandria. She graduated high school and enrolled in Pennsylvania State University (Penn State), where she majored in integrative arts. She was scheduled to graduate during the spring of 2002.
Song attended a Halloween party during the early morning hours of November 1, 2001 at the Player's Nite Club in the 100 block of west College Avenue. She departed from the party at 2:00 a.m., then stopped by a friend's home for two hours.
Another friend dropped Song off outside of her residence in State College Park Apartments in the 300 block of west Clinton Avenue at approximately 4:00 a.m. She had been drinking that evening and was mildly intoxicated when taken to her apartment. She has never been heard from again.
Song's friends reported her as a missing person when she failed to contact anyone by November 4, three days after her disappearance. Nearly all of her personal belongings were inside of her residence, including her backpack and the cellular phone she normally carried.
The false eyelashes that Song wore as part of her costume were located inside the apartment. Her keys and her purse, containing her credit cards and driver's license, were the only items missing from her home. Her cellular phone was turned off, and she didn't place any phone calls from her apartment after returning home, nor was there any indication of a struggle or foul play at the scene.
Song's family, who traveled from South Korea to the United States after her disappearance, cleaned her apartment shortly after the initial police search, inadvertently destroying what physical evidence that might have been there.
Song did not have any travel plans in November 2002. Her loved ones stated that it is uncharacteristic of her to leave without warning. They also maintained that she was not suffering from any personal problems at the time of her disappearance. There has been no activity on her credit cards since her disappearance.
Song broke up with her boyfriend a month before her disappearance and her family members speculated that she might have chosen to leave or commit suicide as a result, but her roommates say she was getting over the breakup and was not depressed about it.
Some people speculated that Song was abducted from her apartment, while others theorize that she may have been taken after walking to a nearby store, something she often did. There are few clues in her case.
Police investigated the possibility that Song's disappearance was drug-related. Her diary entries indicate that she and her friends experimented with marijuana and Ecstasy. However, there is no evidence that she used drugs on the night of her disappearance and the drug theory was eventually discarded.
Authorities received a tip from a woman in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, nearly 200 miles from Song's apartment, shortly after Song disappeared. The witness claimed that she saw a woman matching Song's description inside a vehicle with an unidentified male in the city's Chinatown district. The witness said that the woman called for help, but the man interrupted her and told the witness to leave.
Investigators said that the witness's story changed several times and they have been unable to verify her statements. Authorities are continuing to attempt to identify the man allegedly seen by the woman. He is described as having an olive or light brown complexion with medium-length hair. Investigators stated that the man is not a suspect in Song's case, but they would like to question him.
Another possible lead was investigated when bank robber Hugo Marcus Selenski was arrested and several sets of human remains, believed to be from between five and twelve people, were found in his backyard. None of the remains were from Song.
Selenski told police that he and another man, Michael Jason Kerkowski Jr., saw Song on the night of her disappearance, mistook her for a prostitute, and kidnapped her and kept her imprisoned in a walk-in safe in his home until she died. He says they then buried Song's body in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania.
Kerkowski could not confirm or deny Selenski's account because he was one of the people buried in Selenski's backyard. (Selenski said he killed Kerkowski after learning that he had kept Song's bunny ears as a souvenir of the crime.) One of Selenski's friends, however, told police that Selenski had boasted of the murder to him.
Investigators have been unable to prove Selenski's involvement in Song's disappearance, but they have not ruled him out as a suspect either. He was acquitted of the murder charges against him but was convicted of two counts of abuse of a corpse in March 2006.
Minority groups on the Penn State college campus criticized both law enforcement and university officials for the lack of progress in Song's case. Authorities stated that they have investigated every lead in her disappearance, but there is minimal evidence. Song's case remains unsolved.