Crime
Crime

Hitwoman Charged with Maxim Model Juliana Redding's Murder

| by Kate Wharmby Seldman

Kelly Soo Park will stand trial for the 2008 murder of Juliana Redding, an aspiring actress and onetime Maxim model. Park is accused of carrying out a murder for hire after a business deal between Park's boss and Juliana's father went bad.

Juliana Redding, 21, was murdered in her Santa Monica, California, home in March 2008. According to evidence presented in court in October 2010, Juliana had been trying to call 911 when she was killed. It appears the killer took the phone from Juliana and hung it up before she could complete the call.

Redding was apparently strangled to death; blood capillaries in her eyes were broken, meaning someone must have squeezed her neck hard enough to cut off blood flow. Some bones in her neck had been cracked, and forensic evidence found she had scratched her own chin while trying to pull her murderer's hands from around her neck.

When Juliana's mother, who lived in Arizona, hadn't heard from her daughter in a few days, she contacted police and asked them to visit her daughter's home. Police found Juliana dead on her bed. The oven was on and a candle had been lit. Police believe the killer had intended to set a gas explosion to hide evidence of murder.

Marina del Rey businessman Munir Uwaydah was conducting a business deal with Greg Redding, Juliana Redding's father. Uwaydah lost a 2005 lawsuit in which he was accused of defrauding a medical supply company of $1 million; he's also currently being investigated for insurance fraud. The details of the Redding-Uwaydah deal are unknown, but their relationship appears to have terminated in March 2008, five days before Juliana's body was found.

Kelly Soo Park is linked to the crime through DNA evidence found in Juliana's apartment. She's also connected through several suspicious financial transactions, according to CBS news. Three weeks before Juliana's murder, Uwaydah paid Park $250,000. She was also on a $10,000-a-month salary. Just days before Park's arrest in June 2010, Uwaydah wired $113,000 to Park's relatives in South Korea.

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