Worst Roommate Ever is a true-crime documentary recently released on Netflix. There are five episodes in Season 1 highlighting four different scenarios where cohabitation situations went south. The second episode titled “Be Careful of the Quiet Ones” focuses on Maribel Ramos, a 36-year-old Iraq War veteran and Kwang Chol “KC” Joy.
In 2008, Ramos was honorably discharged from the Army and moved into an apartment in Orange, California. She was looking for a roommate to share in the expenses of the apartment and posted an ad on Craigslist. Joy responded to the ad and moved in with Ramos shortly thereafter. The two lived together for approximately 18 months and became close friends.
On May 3, 2013, Ramos’ family reported her missing after they were unable to contact her. Joy also told the authorities that Ramos had not come home the night before. At first, Ramos’ boyfriend, Paul Lopez, was a suspect. It wasn’t until Lopez told police that Ramos and Joy had been fighting the same day over Joy failing to pay his rent that police shifted their attention to Joy. According to Lopez, Ramos had asked Joy to pack his belongings and leave the apartment as a result of his failure to pay rent.
The police noticed Joy had suspicious scratches on his arm and began to monitor his Internet search history at the local library. Joy searched for answers such as how long it took a human body to decompose and empty locations in Modjeska Canyon. The police found Ramos’ body two weeks after her initial disappearance in a shallow grave in Modjeska Canyon, California.
Joy was found guilty of second-degree murder and sentenced to prison. He continues to deny killing Ramos. He is currently in jail at the Correctional Training Facility in Soledad, California. Joy is eligible for parole next month—April 2022. He has served a mere nine years of his sentence, according to prison records.
As highlighted by Netflix in this new series, sometimes cohabitation arrangements can turn south. The North Carolina General Statutes defines cohabitation as, “the act of two adults dwelling together continuously and habitually in a private heterosexual relationship, even if this relationship is not solemnized by marriage, or a private homosexual relationship.” Under North Carolina law, proof of cohabitation can have legal implications such as termination of postseparation support or alimony.
When proving cohabitation to the court, the party seeking to establish the other party’s cohabitation must show that a there has been a “voluntary mutual assumption of those marital rights, duties, and obligations which are usually manifested by married people, and which include, but are not necessarily dependent on, sexual relations.” Establishing that two people live together is only half the battle in North Carolina. To prove cohabitation, you must go the extra step in showing that obligations usually undertaken by married people are manifested by the cohabitating couple.