By Jason Cruz
Northwest Asian Weekly
A Bellevue man has been arrested in the murder of a woman at a hotel <!–more–>in Portland, Oregon. Tae Bum (“Chris”) Yoon, 27, is accused of killing 24-year-old Ashley Benson on December 26th at a hotel in Portland.
Detectives from Portland’s homicide unit arrested Yoon on Wednesday, January 7th as he arrived in Portland by train. Although nothing has surfaced as to the reasons for targeting Yoon as the suspect in the murder, Portland police immediately identified the native of South Korea. Portland investigators requested assistance from Bellevue police in locating Yoon. After his arrest in Portland, Bellevue police obtained a search warrant to search Yoon’s downtown Bellevue apartment.
Benson’s body was found dead in the hotel stairwell of a DoubleTree Inn in Portland the day after Christmas. Her death was ruled a homicide.
The Multnomah County State Medical Examiner declined to say how Benson was killed.
Portland police indicate that Benson was a victim of sex trafficking although they have not publicly tied this to her death and Yoon’s arrest.
According to a report, Benson grew up in Portland and lived in Vancouver, Washington. She had a son. Her relatives, including her father, attended Yoon’s arraignment hearing on Friday.
Yoon pleaded not guilty to the single count of murder. He has no prior criminal convictions and no other pending cases.
A preliminary hearing is set for Yoon in Portland on January 20th. The district attorney has declined comment on the nature of the case.
Portland police indicated that more details will likely be released next week.
Benson’s friends have set up a GoFundMe crowdfunding site to help raise funds for her funeral. At the time of this writing, it has raised $4,467 out of its $10,000 goal. On the web site, Benson’s father, wrote, “This is a very tragic and difficult situation to deal with. My family is finding strength in each other as well as friends while we try to navigate the coping with this…” (end)
Jason Cruz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.