Timothy Aaron Hoag, who was implicated on Wednesday in the stabbing death of 72-year-old Jeong Hyok Im, University of Missouri professor on Jan. 7, 2005, is a Hannibal native. This information was confirmed on Thursday by a relative.
Law enforcement officials in Columbia announced on Wednesday that blood, hair and DNA evidence collected at the murder scene has been matched to Hoag.
In August 2012, Hoag jumped to his death from the roof of a Columbia parking garage without leaving a suicide note behind. He was 35 years old.
The relative said that Timothy had been living in Columbia, where his mother, Lexie, moved after a separation from her husband, also named Timothy, several years ago. The family had previously made their home in the Oakwood area of Hannibal.
“Timothy (Aaron) was hit by a car some years ago, which left him mentally challenged,” the relative said, and he had been involved in drugs. He had been in some trouble, she confirmed, but she had no idea of his involvement in such a serious crime as the murder.
She said that Timothy graduated from Hannibal High School.
On Wednesday, the Associated Press reported that campus police chief Jack Watring, said that two people came forward to implicate Hoag with the crime. They did so only after he died because they were afraid he might harm them, Watring said. Hoag’s criminal record includes assault and drug convictions.
Watring did not disclose the names of those who implicated Hoag. He said investigators believe Hoag acted alone and that they don’t consider either of the witnesses to be accomplices in Im’s killing.
The chief said one of the two came forward in late December with information linking Hoag to the crime. He said the second person later told police he drove Hoag to the garage that day and returned two hours later — parking a level below where the attack happened — with a gasoline can Hoag had asked for. He said Hoag came to get the gas and left, then returned later wearing a painter’s mask and hooded sweatshirt that covered his head — a description that matched the killer.
Watring said detectives believe the witness’ claim that he or she didn’t know what Hoag had been doing at the garage.
“(Hoag) was the only one who knew about this,” Watring said.
Online court records show that Hoag pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault and tampering with a victim or witness in March 2001 in Boone County, serving six months in jail. He spent another five days in jail in March 2005 after being convicted of a misdemeanor drug paraphernalia charge.