A&M-Commerce Professor Found Dead, Child Rescued

May 7, 2018

A four-year-old girl is in Child Protective Services custody following a house fire and possible murder-suicide at a Rockwall home on Monday morning, local police said.

Authorities received a report of a house fire in the 1200 block of White Water Lane at around 5 a.m., officials said. Two adults were found dead inside the home, and the child was found inside the home’s garage inside a vehicle, officials said.

Texas A&M University-Commerce officials have said that one of the two dead adults found inside the house was Yoon Duk “Debbie” Kim, an assistant professor of construction engineering in the university's  Department of Engineering and Technology. Kim had been an assistant professor since the Fall 2015 semester, officials said.  Kim had a 5-year-old daughter named Katie, they said.

The other body belonged to her husband, Hyun Seop "Harry" Lee, who served as an adjunct professor with the Department of Engineering and Technology in the Fall 2016 semester, officials said. The Grambling State University website lists Lee as an assistant professor in the Department of Engineering and Technology.

Kim was originally from Seoul, South Korea, and received a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering with an emphasis in Structural Engineering from Georgia Tech. In addition to teaching, Kim was the academic advisor for construction engineering majors and faculty advisor for the Student Construction Association, officials said.

"We gratefully remember Dr. Kim’s extraordinarily warm presence, her scholarship, and her stellar teaching," A&M-Commerce president Dr. Ray Keck said.

The Texas A&M University-Commerce Counseling Center offers immediate help to students in crisis and serves the students of the university with counseling and a wide range of other mental wellness services.