Missing Man James Kim Found Dead

Kim had been seeking help for his snowbound wife and daughters, who were rescued on Monday

James Kim, who had been missing in the Oregon wilderness, was found dead Wednesday.

“At 12:03 p.m. the body of James Kim was located down in the canyon of Big Windy Creek,” said Josephine County undersheriff Brian Anderson, who had to stop speaking because he was moved to tears during a press conference in Merlin, Ore.

Kim, 35, along with his wife Kati, 30, and daughters Penelope, 4, and Sabine, 7 months, were stranded on Nov. 25 after their car got stuck in the snow during a trip from Seattle to their home in San Francisco.

“Arrangements are being made to have him removed from the area,” said Lt. Gregg Hastings, who added, “We want the Kim family to know that we appreciate all of their support. They have been true champions throughout this whole ordeal, and we just want them to know that our thoughts and our prayers have been with them from day one.”

For the first three days they were stuck they used the car’s heater at night to keep warm. When the gas ran out, they used the battery alone. After the battery died, they burned tires to generate heat.

For food, they had only scant provisions in their 2005 Saab station wagon: just some baby food and Cheez Whiz.

Kati and her two daughters were rescued on Monday when she was spotted by a helicopter waving an open umbrella on which she had affixed reflective tape spelling out S.O.S.

Two days before they were saved, Kim, dressed in a jacket, two pairs of pants, sweater and sneakers, set off to seek help for his loved ones.

Rescuers searching for Kim found items such as bits of an Oregon map and some clothing that he had apparently dropped along the way as he searched for help.

“I admire his effort. He had fortitude,” Jackson County Sheriff Mike Winters said Wednesday. “He had a strong will to survive and I can tell by his effort that he put a lot of thought into what he was doing.”

Winters said that despite having little wilderness experience, Kim made smart decisions about trying to find help. “He thought on his feet and he was meticulous,” said Winters, who also said that at one point in their search rescuers came within about a quarter of a mile of where Kim’s body was eventually found.

Kim had covered an estimated eight miles. “It seems superhuman to me that he was able to cover that amount of distance given what he had and also that he had nine days in the car,” undersheriff Brian Anderson said, according to CNN.com.

Kim was a senior editor at the Web site CNET, where he reviewed the newest electronic gadgets.

Kati’s father, Dr. Philip Fleming, said on the Today show earlier this week: “He’s a very heroic father.”

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