Another high profile Orange County murder case is getting the Dateline NBC treatment Friday night.
Maribel Manriquez Ramos was a 36-year-old Army veteran who served in Iraq and was about to receive a bachelor's in criminology from Cal State Fullerton when her body was found in Modjeska Canyon in May 2013. Cause of death could not be determined because she had been ravaged by animals. Her roommate, Kwang Chol "K.C." Joy was convicted in June of second-degree murder for Ramos' killing and sentenced in September to 15 years to life in state prison.
The Dateline piece, which airs during Friday's 8 p.m. broadcast on KNBC Channel 4, explains how investigators unraveled Ramos' mysterious disappearance, explains NBC News producer Susan Leibowitz.
"It's a sad story but she was an amazing woman," Leibowitz writes in an email to the Weekly. "She was both mentor and drill sergeant to her young niece."
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The U.S. Army veteran, who went from serving in Iraq to coming within days of graduating from Cal State Fullerton when she disappeared, gave her niece money for good grades and made the girl do pushups if she got in trouble, Leibowitz explained.
"I'm hoping the folks of the OC get to see it," the producer said of the piece whose correspondent is Josh Mankiewicz. Here a clip (after an ad):