Investigation Discovery adopted the baffling case of Ashley Benson’s murder in 2014. Under a feature titled ‘Her Last Christmas’, which aired on December 21, 2020, the network portrays how the young mother from Oregon was killed, revealing a harrowing tale of secrets and obsessive behavior. The circumstances leading to the death of Benson takes the audience on a journey through the murky nature of sex trafficking and prostitution.
Ashley Benson was found dead on the staircase of a hotel in Portland, Oregon. Benson was a graduate from Reynolds High School in 2008 and grew up in the Gresham area. No one knew about the secret life she led. The police turned on a prime suspect, Chris Yoon, in the primary stages of the investigation itself. Yoon was later arrested and convicted of Ashley’s murder. If you are curious to know the details of Yoon’s connection to the crime, we have you covered.
Who Is Chris Yoon?
On December 26, 2014, an employee at the Doubletree Hotel in Portland found the lifeless body of a young woman on one of the stairwells of the hotel. Unable to identify who the woman was or why she was at the hotel, the hotel informed the authorities. An autopsy of her body revealed the cause of death to be “homicidal violence”. In a press release, the police confirmed that Benson was a victim of sex trafficking but then, they were not sure if her profession was related to her death.
The police were able to identify the primary suspect very quickly. They became interested in a man named Tae Bum ‘Chris’ Yoon who checked in to the hotel on December 25, 2014, and left on December 26, the day Ashley’s body was found. The room Yoon stayed in was scoured for evidence which led the investigators to the call log that entailed several calls made from the room to a number featured on a BackPage.com advertisement. This website was known for hosting escort services promotions. The advertisement was revealed to be that of Ashley. Besides, a fingernail found in the room was also said to belong to Ashley.
After a dedicated pursuit of two weeks, the police arrested Yoon at Union Station in January 2015. He was reportedly shocked to have been encountered by the police. Yoon was charged with the murder of Ashley Benson and taken to trial.
Where Is Chris Yoon Today?
Chris Yoon was arrested in January 2015 for the murder of Ashley Benson in December of 2014. The records presented to the court during his trial included phone records which were primarily used to track Yoon down. Text conversations between Yoon and Benson showed at least 25 texts that were exchanged on December 25 and two calls that Yoon made to Benson. The records further attest to him being at the same hotel on December 25, where Ashley had gone to meet a man.
Further digging into Benson’s personal mail revealed an email conversation that implied that Benson and Yoon had had encounters before and had a certain disagreement over monetary matters. The email read: “Let me make this clear before you read my message. You WILL be COMPENSATED for all the time you invested in me. I have every intention of PAYING you…Before you blame me 100 %, I want you to know that you did break our agreement.”
In one of his early court appearances, Yoon had pled not guilty. He was ordered to receive a psychiatric evaluation. On January 20, 2017, Yoon was sentenced to 18 years in prison after pleading guilty to first-degree manslaughter in the killing of Ashley Benson in 2014. He is currently serving his sentence.
Read More: Ashley Benson’s Murder: How Did She Die?