Jodi Hernandez

Arrest Made in 2012 Rape, Beating Death of Elderly Richmond Woman

It’s been more than four years since an 82-year-old Richmond woman was viciously beaten and raped while out for a morning walk, and police said on Friday that they arrested her alleged attacker earlier this month.

Those who knew Sun Kwon, like her apartment director Janet James, said the woman was “always smiling.” James described her as a “very lovely woman” who was “very sweet, very kind and loved life.” She also expressed a sense of relief on Friday after learning that the 34-year-old man, identified as Jonathan Jackson, who police believe is responsible for the fatal 2012 attack is behind bars.

“I was wondering if it would ever happen,” James said. “I'm so happy for the family.”

Richmond police say the mother of four and grandmother of six was taking a walk in January 2012 when Jackson assaulted her a few blocks away from her apartment. At the time of the attack, Kwon was packed and excited to take a cruise to Hawaii with her family.

Instead, she was barely breathing when a tire shop employee found her in a parking lot next to a pile of discarded tires, according to Lt. Felix Tan.

“An 82-year-old woman being raped and murdered … that’s as bad as it gets,” he said.

But despite all efforts, police were unable to solve the crime until now. They said Jackson was arrested for possessing a stolen car in September and his DNA sample matched the DNA left on Kwon's body. That’s what led to his arrest two weeks ago. He is now in the Contra Costa County Jail and faces charges of murder, rape and kidnapping.

“I hope justice is served,” James said.

James said Kwon lived in the same Richmond complex for more than 10 years, and she will never forget her.

“The whole community was in shock,” James said. “You just don't expect something like that to happen to someone 82 years old.

She continued: “She was a lovely woman and did not deserve what happened to her."

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