Crime Follow-Ups: Two Suspects Involved in In Cha Choe’s Murder Are in Custody
May 9, 2020
On October 14, 2019, two suspects were involved with the robbery and murder of 59-year-old In Cha Choe, beloved store owner of McChord Mart in Lakewood, Washington.
The two suspects, 20-year-old Boifacio Alvarez Reynolds, and 24-year-old Marcus L. Williams, aka “Savage” are now both in custody. Reynolds, who was the getaway driver, turned himself in a few weeks after the incident, while Williams, the man who perpetrated the murder was later arrested mid-November 2019 after police received a tip on his whereabouts and surrounded the house.
Choe wasn’t supposed to be working the night of the robbery/murder because her son usually closes up shop at 10:30 pm. However, that night, Choe told her son to get dinner and she would close-up shop to save time. Williams entered the store and began emptying out the cash register. Choe started fighting back and that’s when Williams stabbed her several times.
Choe was still able to fight off Williams and survived her injuries long enough to get into her car, but she never made it out of the parking lot. She succumbed to her injuries mid-drive inside her vehicle.
Detectives released CCTV footage of the robbery and murder to the public and received tips on Williams’s identity. Detectives were also able to obtain DNA evidence on a bottle of barbecue sauce he picked up off a shelf during the robbery.
Choe was originally from Korea and immigrated to the United States in 1984, arriving in Lakewood, Washington. As soon as she arrived, she worked inhumane long hours to provide for her family from starting up a video store, a grocery store and then opening up McChord Mart a few years later.
“Basically you have a single mom raising three kids, working 14 or 16 hours a day,” stated Ken Schubert, a brother-in-law.
Choe’s daughters released a statement shortly after her death:
“She tirelessly worked every day, running our family McChord Mart, to support her family. She was beloved by everyone, and I mean literally everyone. She showed kindness to each and every person that walked through her life. Customers always called her ‘Mama’ or ‘Mama-san.’ She was the type of person to feed and shelter the homeless. Or if people didn’t have the money to pay for their items, she would smile and tell them to pay next time they come in.”
Pierce County Superior Court Commissioner Craig Adams set bail at $2 million. Marcus Louise Williams, aka “Savage” has pleaded not guilty at arraignment to first-and second-degree murder of In Cha Choe as of December 2019, according to The News Tribune.