December 11, 2006
James Kim. Fumbles, missteps and 3 days went by before cell phone triangulation attempt
The San Francisco Chronicle gives a detailed account of the search for James Kim and his family , it seems it took 3 days (after the 4 days they were stranded - when no one knew they needed help) before cell phone transmissions helped to pinpoint the search area.
And only because "Eric Fuqua, a cell phone company engineer who was "adamant'' that he had to talk to someone about the case.
"Fuqua worked for Edge Wireless of Bend, Ore., which is affiliated with Cingular, the carrier that the Kim family used. Detective Mike Weinstein of the Portland police missing persons detail said Fuqua had taken it upon himself to contact the family through a Web site that had been created and had obtained the missing couple's cell phone numbers.
"They told us they had two very brief hits with one of the cell phones. The information was passed along to David Steele, a detective with the Oregon State Police in Salem who was working on the case and lead to narrowing the search area
"Authorities now were almost sure the Kims were somewhere off the road between Grants Pass and Gold Beach. It was a week almost to the hour since the Kims had become stranded, and about 12 hours after James Kim had left his family on foot to look for help."
It seems (to me) a trajedy than need not have happened and its hard to understand why cell phone triangulation was not one of the first things considered after the family was declared missing.
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