PHOENIX, Ariz. – After 48 days of searching a landfill, investigators have found the body of missing Arizona State University professor Junseok Chae.
Just before he went missing in late March, Chae was developing cutting edge chip-like brain implants for people who have neurological disorders.
“His mind was astonishing, but he could do things,” said Chae’s mentor Michael Kozicki. “I mean, he would, he would take things from the most nebulous of concepts to actual working devices.”
The investigation into Chae’s death went all the way to Shreveport, Louisiana, where three teens were pulled over in Chae’s car.
Two of them, 18-year-old Javian Ezell and 18-year-old Gabrielle Austin, were arrested and charged with first degree murder.
Deputies said the group made statements that led them to believe Chae was a victim of a homicide. They later suspected that Ezell and Austin killed Chae in Phoenix and put his body in a dumpster that was taken to the landfill in Surprise.
“Honestly, the biggest question I have and everyone else has is just ‘Why?’ He was such a good dude, and he was doing so many good things for the world, so it’s just why, man,” said Chae’s former student Liam McDonald.
Chae’s colleagues said he was brilliant and that his death isn’t a loss for just the university, but also the world.
“It may sound hyperbolic, but the world is diminished,” said Kozicki in May. “What he was working on was for the good of us all.”