Public Safety

Iowa man dies after being bound, gagged; professor charged

Gowun Park
Gowun Park

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — A college economics professor was arrested Wednesday after police in a Des Moines, Iowa, suburb say she bound and gagged her husband for hours, leading to his death.

Gowun Park, 41, was charged with first-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping in the death of her husband, Sung Nam, also 41, West Des Moines police said.

Simpson College, a private liberal arts college based in Indianola, Iowa, identified Park as an assistant professor of economics. The college said it has suspended Park and would cooperate with authorities in an investigation.

According to court records, Park used zip ties to bind Nam’s feet and hands to a chair in their West Des Moines home Saturday morning. Park is accused of then tying Nam to the chair with rope and jamming clothing into his mouth before finally using duct tape to attach a towel over his head.

Police said Park refused to untie him despite his requests.

Officers were called to their home Saturday evening and found Nam face down on the floor with no vital signs. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.

“Ms. Park made efforts to hide and conceal the binding items prior to the arrival of emergency personnel,” according to a criminal complaint.

After an investigation, Park was arrested Wednesday at the West Des Moines Police Department.

She was being held at the Dallas County Jail. Court records don’t indicate if she has a lawyer who could answer questions about her arrest.

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.