Memorial to be held for Korean-American student

A Buford family is pushing Japanese authorities to thoroughly investigate the death of a college student who was on vacation in Tokyo, even as they plan a local memorial service for him.

Japanese police have reopened an investigation into the mysterious circumstances surrounding Hoon "Scott" Kang's death. However, the family is frustrated because investigators are not sharing their progress with relatives and friends, according to Kang's father, Sung Kang. Relatives are still waiting to get the 20-year-old's autopsy report and a copy of a surveillance video taken from an elevator, where Kang is believed to have been attacked shortly before his body was found on Aug. 27.

"The police say there is no update," Sung Kang said. "They haven't told me anything."

Hoon Kang was vacationing in Tokyo with friends when he was found lying in an emergency stairwell with blood trickling from his left ear. He died three days later in a hospital, never having regained consciousness. Police initially determined that Kang's death was an accident caused by falling down the stairs, but family members were skeptical from the start. They say police showed them a surveillance video that appeared to depict a man punching Kang in an elevator the same night his body was discovered. The video has not been released to the public.

Sung Kang returned home Wednesday from an extended trip to his native South Korea, where he placed his son's ashes with the remains of his ancestors. The father said he plans to revisit Japan at the end of October to demand answers from Japanese authorities. The case has drawn attention from the Korean community in Atlanta, where news of Kang's death was carried in Korean newspapers, as well as abroad. "America's Most Wanted" is planning to interview the family this week and travel to Japan for an upcoming show.

At the time of his death, Kang had taken a year off from his studies at New York University to teach English in Korea. He decided to take a weeklong vacation to Japan while on summer break.

The family is planning a memorial service at 6 p.m. Friday at the Salt and Light Presbyterian Church at 4300 South Lee St. Kang had attended the church since he was a child. Churchgoers want to comfort the Kang family in their grief, and will take up a collection for him, said Pastor Hang Soon Park.