Slain Army Vet Receives Posthumous College Degree

Maribel Ramos, whose body was found May 16, was awarded a posthumous degree from Cal State Fullerton

By Jason Kandel and Bobbie Eng
|  Monday, May 27, 2013  |  Updated 8:04 AM PDT
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Roommate Formally Charged With Murdering Army Vet

Bobbie Eng/

Maribel Ramos, in the photograph, was awarded a posthumous bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Cal State Fullerton on Sunday, May 26, 2013. Her body was found on May 16, 2013 in an Orange County canyon.

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Maribel Ramos, an Orange County Army veteran and Cal State Fullerton student, has been missing for five days as of Tuesday. There are few clues about what happened, but police say her disappearance is suspicious. Family and friends are passing out flyers, hoping someone may have seen or heard from her. Hetty Chang reports from Orange for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on May 7, 2013.

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The roommate of missing Cal State Fullerton student and Army veteran Maribel Ramos spoke out Wednesday about her disappearance. Friends say this behavior is out of character for Ramos, who has missed important events at her college, and has not shown up to work in days. Vikki Vargas reports from Orange for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on May 8, 2013.
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Family members of Maribel Ramos, whose life was cut short three weeks before graduation, celebrated her life on Sunday as she was honored with a posthumous degree from Cal State Fullerton.

Ramos’ name was read among the “Class of 2013” who received their bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice at a commencement ceremony on campus.

“We’re so proud of you, Maribel,” said her cousin, Andrea Leonardo. “We love you. We’re going to miss you. You’ll always be in our hearts.”

Investigators found Ramos’ body in Modjeska Canyon, an unincorporated area of Orange County in the Santa Ana Mountains, on May 16 after friends reported her missing 13 days earlier, prosecutors said.

Her former roommate, Kwang Chol Joy, 54, of Orange, was charged in connection with Ramos’ death.

Joy is accused of getting into an argument with Ramos on May 2 after she told him to move out of the home because he was not paying his rent, prosecutors said.

That night, Ramos was seen on video surveillance dropping off a rent check at the property manager’s office. It was the last time she was seen alive, officials said.

Officials found Ramos' body off Santiago Canyon Road during a search. The body was identified the next day, but the cause of death remains under investigation.

Joy was arrested May 17.

While Ramos’ family struggles to find answers, they took a moment on Sunday to reflect on her posthumous achievement.

“We’re very proud of her,” said another cousin, Susana Molina. “She was waiting for this day.”

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