New Jersey police identify body found in Cooper River

Woman was a former Randallstown resident attacked in December

April 22, 2000|By Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan | Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan,SUN STAFF

New Jersey police identified yesterday a body found Thursday as that of Chia Yen "Ann" Hsu, a 30-year-old former longtime Randallstown resident who was attacked in her suburban Philadelphia apartment in December, bound and thrown into a nearby river.

Hsu, a native of Taiwan who grew up in Baltimore and graduated from Randallstown High School in 1987, disappeared Dec. 7 after being attacked while asleep in her Collingswood, N.J., apartment the night before.

Rodney Woody Bullock, a 20-year-old Camden, N.J., resident who was apprehended the next day driving Hsu's car in North Carolina, has been charged with kidnapping and homicide.

Closure

Her disappearance was the subject of an April 9 feature story in The Sun.

Hsu was the youngest of three daughters of Kent and Kimmy Hsu, Chinese immigrants who had come from Taiwan.

The family had suffered additional emotional stress after learning of her death because investigators could not find her body after searching the Cooper River for more than a week.

"It's a relief that we may be able to finally put her to rest," said her sister, Lily Hsu Gosnear, 32. "It does give us closure. But there's a finality that's very difficult. It's definitely Ann. She's definitely dead, and she's not coming back."

Hundreds frustrated

Hsu's disappearance stunned her fiance, family and friends who remembered her as a vivacious, funny, caring woman who was excited about getting married and starting a family.

Her disappearance also frustrated hundreds of investigators and volunteers who spent long days combing the Cooper River for her body.

"This has just been an everyday thought for all the people who were involved in this case," said Collingswood Police Chief Thomas J. Garrity Jr.

"We had made a promise to the Hsu family that we would do everything that we could possible to return her to them," he said.

Reliving the grief

Hsu's body was found Thursday when two men walking on a bridge about 1 p.m. saw something floating in the river and called police.

Fire officials retrieved the body. The feet were bound with phone cord, and the hands were tied back by a cord that looped to a noose around the neck.

Identification was made yesterday through dental records by the Camden County medical examiner.

The cause of death has not been released, but the medical examiner found several skull fractures.

Gosnear said her family was reliving much of the initial grief.

"What we didn't realize was that it was going to open up a whole bag of emotions," Gosnear said. "Now, we truly are in mourning."

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