December 6, 2006 12:54 PM PST

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The body of missing CNET editor James Kim has been located, authorities announced Wednesday.

Kim's body was transported to the Oregon State Police office in Central Point, Ore., and autopsy results released Thursday determined that Kim died of exposure with hypothermia. The 35-year-old Kim had been missing in the remote southwestern Oregon wilderness for 11 days and was found at approximately noon Wednesday about half a mile from the Rogue River, authorities said.

James Kim

Remembering James "In my eyes, as a father, and in the eyes of his family, he is a true hero. He took the difficult but at the same time easy decision to risk his life to save the lives of those he loved the most...Rest in peace, brave man."
--CNET reader

Kim left his family's stranded car Saturday morning searching for help and never returned. Kim apparently traveled in a 10-mile circle and was found less than a mile, separated by a sheer cliff, from where his family's station wagon got stuck in the snow. Officers said there was no way to determine whether he was trying to return to his starting point or if he became disoriented.

"He was very motivated...he traveled a long way," Josephine County Undersheriff Brian Anderson said.

The Kim family has asked that it not be contacted, and that flowers and donations not be sent at this time. Once the family has decided how they want Kim to be honored, CNET will release details.

"They have been true champions throughout this whole ordeal," Lt. Gregg Hastings of the Oregon State Police said of the Kim family. "We just want them to know our thoughts and our prayers have been with them from day one."

After being rescued in good condition Monday, Kim's 30-year-old wife, Kati, and daughters Penelope (4 years) and Sabine (7 months) have been reunited with family members. Kati Kim suffered frostbite on two toes, but will not lose those toes, according to a close family friend.

in remembrance
Devoted dad, gadgeteer
Friends, co-workers mourn
the passing of James Kim.

While stranded, the family stayed warm using the car heater, then burned tires when they ran out of gas, authorities said. Kati Kim also nursed the girls.

James Kim, Kati, Penelope and Sabine left their home in San Francisco two weeks ago on a Thanksgiving road trip to the Pacific Northwest. They had been last seen on the Saturday after the holiday in Portland and later at a Denny's restaurant in Roseburg, according to a San Francisco Police Department missing persons report.

The family was expected to return to San Francisco on November 27. When both James and Kati failed to show up for appointments on November 28, co-workers began to worry for their safety. The Kims are known for keeping in touch daily with their friends and co-workers, either by phone or e-mail.

how to help
Memorial fund
CNET editor in chief thanks readers for their support and gives details about how they can help the Kim family.

Throughout the Kims' ordeal, messages of support and concern numbering into the thousands have continued to pour in to CNET, as well as to a Web site set up by family and friends. That site was available only intermittently following release of the news Wednesday.

James Kim was a senior editor covering digital audio who also co-hosted a weekly video podcast for the Crave gadgets blog (read Kim's CNET profile here). He had been writing a book on Microsoft's Zune MP3 player. Formerly, he was an on-air personality on the now-defunct cable television network TechTV.

Anderson said searchers were devastated at Wednesday's discovery. "I'm crushed," said the choked-up sheriff.

Upon hearing the news, CNET readers immediately began to post condolences on the site's message boards. They also sent e-mails to Kim's co-workers expressing their sadness.

"James kept his wife and kids alive while sacrificing his own life and I believe all men who read this story will hold James in the highest regard as a man among men who gave his two children the rest of their lives," one reader wrote.

"My family and I will continue to pray for James' family...When I try to put myself in his shoes, I think James did what every parent would do for his family. James, God bless," wrote another.

James, Kati and Sabine
James, Kati and Sabine Kim

And another: "Please realize that there were so many people praying for his safe return...I'm sorry!"

At CNET's San Francisco headquarters, employees convened to share their grief and discuss ways they could memorialize and honor their beloved colleague.

"This has been an incredibly heartwrenching experience for all involved," CEO Neil Ashe said. "I know that I speak for everyone here at CNET Networks when I say that James Kim was a hero. We will miss him greatly."

A refocused full-scale search for James Kim involving helicopters, Sno-Cats, four-wheel-drive vehicles, river rafts and searchers on foot had been under way since Kim's wife and daughters were rescued Monday. Late afternoon on Tuesday, searchers found several items left by Kim, including a pair of pants and the remains of an Oregon map, and officials believed he may have left them as markers or indicators of his path.

Rescue workers at a Wednesday evening press conference said the terrain that confronted Kim was rugged, with poison oak, slippery rocks and moss and loose earth.

Searchers also said the conditions in the canyon were such that rescuers got soaked within 30 minutes of descending into it. The rescue workers were wearing protective gear; Kim was wearing only street clothes.

Asked what kind of effort he thought was needed to cover the ground Kim traveled, Anderson said, "It seems superhuman to me that he did what he did."

On Wednesday morning, authorities, still expressing hope that Kim was alive, announced plans to drop care packages strategically along the route where Kim was believed to be. The bundles contained warm clothing and provisions, as well as a personal letter from Kim's family described as a "father's plea to his son" to let Kim know help was on the way.

CNET's Greg Sandoval contributed to this report.

See more CNET content tagged:
Oregon, authority, family, San Francisco


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This Story really touched me yesterday when I saw it on abc. I cried my eyes out to hear that mr Kim died for his family. Kim is a true hero and a many who should be honored as one if he still hasn't. I would be great if I was half the man he was. My condolences go out to his family. Rip James Kim
Posted by Reyr3 (1 comment )
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RIP. What a sad story.
Posted by KosakiHook (2 comments )
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So sad...RIP James.
Posted by Janessa70 (1 comment )
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why were the tires off the car??? must have missed that part
Posted by claplanche (1 comment )
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they burned them to make a fire for smoke
Posted by tjinaustin (2 comments )
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My heart goes out to you and your family Kati! NEVER let them forget how loving and endearing your husband was! I saw this being aired on 6 sense on our local station here in chattanooga , TN and i thought how amazing it was. your will to survive proves to me that GOD had his hands on your family!
and he still does.

Posted by asharp301 (1 comment )
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I saw this on 20/20 last night. I just don't get it. Never did they mention that the vehicle was stuck, so why wouldn't they simply drive back the way they came in? They were sitting at an intersection of two logging roads, which would have given them room to turn around, but instead the wife simply stated that their plan was to just sit and wait for another vehicle to pass. Its terrible that a life was lost, but why wouldn't they just drive back? The road is 70 miles, and they didn't even get down half of it. What am I missing here?
Posted by GregSip (1 comment )
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I was wondering the same thing! Such a sad story and beautiful family but burning the tires would have been the last thing I would have done! I would of found a way out somehow!
Posted by tjinaustin (2 comments )
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They were really low on gas an used it off and on to keep warm. They would have never made it back up the road, and they thought it would be easier for someone to see them if they were on a three way fork.
Posted by PreposterousRachel (1 comment )
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The car was stuck!!! Get it yet?
Posted by JoeDom80 (1 comment )
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I watched the program last night on 20/20/. Just as we commemorated the 9/11 anniversary last week, It saddens me to hear how many wonderful Fathers were lost that dreadful day, and now, another wonderful Father was lost, but to save his Family. Where am I going with this: I'm a Grandmother of 3 Fatherless children, due to lack of responsibility, lack of loyalty. lack of duty to doing what's right for them, regardless of their relation to the Mother. These deadbeats, and thousands more sicken me. These are the one's who should meet these fates. Not the dutiful and hard working committed men. These deadbeats merely place the order and walk away without human regard. They, are NOT men.
Posted by dabizzo (1 comment )
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I am a Christian and I would never wish tragedy on anyone but like you I get frustrated with deadbeats. I am a grandfather of two lucky boys who have their father and I am proud of him (our son). As a grandfather I have been around for a while and I can attest to the emotional stress these deadbeats go through when they grow older and suddenly want to be a part of their childs life and then realize they are strangers when their child slaps a restraining order on them. As for the Kim tragedy I ask why did he leave the road? As a Scout leader for 25 years I have taken Scouts on 40km hikes before we had GPS and cell phones while walking the last hour in darkness with ease as long as we stayed on the trail. I took a GPS course in 2006 and the main point of the exercise was to show how hard it is to go as the crow flies and that walking twice the distance on roads or trails is ten times easier and faster never mind the risk of injury such as a broken leg and even if you do collapse you have a much better chance of being found on a road or trail. Spending the first night in the car was a good idea but at daylight he should have used his fuel to turn around. Every kilometer driven is that much less to walk out should the car become stuck or out of fuel. My prayers go out to the Kim family.
Posted by davidduffy23rd (1 comment )
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How many baby daddies she got?

Maybe part of the problem is the baby momma.
Posted by reeeally (2 comments )
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I regret that, after reading all the heartfelt postings here, I have to be the bad guy that states the obvious (and burning) question that's been on my mind ever since I watched the story on 20/20. What in God's name was a well respected, loved and obviously intelligent cnet tech editor and professed "gadgeteer" doing going on a grand road trip to points unknown WITHOUT A FREAKIN' GPS?!?!? Without trying to undermine the heroic efforts of those who assisted in the rescue of the surviving members of the family, it needs to be pointed out that the absence of thought on the part of the parents to properly equip themselves for such an adventurous road trip is what ultimately contributed to James Kim's untimely demise and put the entire family in dire peril. Even a low-cost (less than $100) GPS WITHOUT properly updated maps STILL would've let them know they weren't where they were supposed to be and given them some clue as how to get "back on track". The timeline for the "tragedy of errors" as stated on 20/20 missed this most obvious of errors that got the fatal ball rolling for James Kim. They left home for points unknown without a GPS. I am not, however, without heart for the surviving family. My heart does indeed go out to you. This horrible situation was avoidable, but everyone makes mistakes. We can all only hope that we ourselves don't make the same (or similar) egregious error in our won lives. Truly, a cautionary tale. Blessing to all.
Posted by vekdigital (1 comment )
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They did have GPS... and you should read this article that will explain a little better
Posted by Sokinaaa (1 comment )
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I remember watching James when I was still a teenager on Call for Help! I'm 31 now! So sad.
Posted by charlesdjones1 (105 comments )
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um, natural selection??
Posted by hollywhoa (1 comment )
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