LA Forensics: Where There's Smoke...
A Hodgepodge of Lies
When detectives went to the hospital where Ephriam worked as a security guard, his boss, the security supervisor, said Ephriam hadn't been at work on November 8. He showed the detectives Ephriam's time card to prove it.
Even more troubling, the cops found out that Ephriam had called and asked another employee to lie for him. If the cops came by the hospital asking questions about him, Ephriam wanted the employee to back up his claim that he had been working that day.
It seemed like a stupid lie to tell experienced detectives. Ephriam had to know they were going to check out his story.
"Some of these criminals are not that smart," Duarte says. "If they were smarter, it would probably be a lot more difficult to catch them. He probably thought he was smarter than the detectives."
Another thing investigators realized after they talked to the hospital security supervisor was that it was unlikely Ephriam had paid Mr. Kim $900. That amount was three times Ephriam's weekly paycheck. If Ephriam had that kind of money, he probably would have paid his rent instead of going in the hole more than two grand.
When Detective Barron and his partner went back and confronted Ephriam about his lies, the squirrely security guard changed his story. He hadn't given Mr. Kim $900 in cash, he admitted, but he had given him one of his paychecks to put toward his back rent. Ephriam then claimed that as Mr. Kim was leaving the apartment building, three black guys, probably gang members, grabbed the building owner at gunpoint. The gangbangers shoved Mr. Kim into his Mercedes and sped away. Ephriam said he had not reported the incident to the police.
Coming on the heels of Ephriam's lie about working the day Lon Kim disappeared, the new gang kidnapping story seemed ridiculous. Ephriam had tipped his hand and Detective Barron had seen it. "I knew (then) that he was one of the significant players in the murder."
But the investigators needed to do more than expose Ephriam's lies. They needed to find evidence, hard physical evidence.
Soon they would have it.
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