SAN FRANCISCO — On Aug. 13 at approximately 7:24 p.m., San Francisco police officers assigned to Richmond Station responded to Golden Gate Park near the intersection of Fulton Street and 22nd Avenue on a report of a deceased person in a duffel bag.
A witness told officers they had located the unresponsive adult female and called police. Officers summoned medics to the scene. Paramedics from the San Francisco Fire Department responded, and the victim was declared deceased at the scene.
The San Francisco County Medical Examiner declared the death suspicious and identified the woman as Kelly Koike, 37, of San Francisco, also known as Kelly Brock. Due to the suspicious nature of the death, investigators from the SFPD Homicide Detail responded to the scene and are leading the investigation. No arrests have been made and this remains an open investigation.
Anyone with information is asked to call the SFPD 24-hour Tip Line at (415) 575-4444 or text a tip to TIP411 and begin the text message with “SFPD.” You may remain anonymous.
KGO-TV spoke with the woman’s mother, Roya Koike, on Aug. 14 in Castro Valley, located across the bay in Alameda County. She quoted authorities as telling her, “Yesterday, they found your daughter in a duffel bag. A dog walker found her.”
Roya Koike said that her daughter was living on the streets of San Francisco and suffered from mental illness. She recalled that Kelly had a lifelong passion for makeup and design, even changing her eye color to all white at one point.
“I know deep, deep down in her, without this part here (pointing to her head), she’s a good girl,” said Koike, who shared photos of her daughter from better days. “She has a messed up here (pointing to her head), but she got killed.”
Koike told NBC Bay Area that Kelly lived at the family home in Castro Valley until about four years ago.
“I don’t think it’s a hate crime,” Koike said. “I do know she would go to extremes from nothing … I think that’s most likely what happened.”
She said the medical examiner told her there was no blood or other immediate indication of the cause of death, but Kelly had no clothing below her waist. She hoped to learn more when the full autopsy is completed.
“She was beautiful. ‘Was,’ I can’t believe it. ‘Was,’” Koike said, adding that underneath her daughter’s beautiful exterior, she was tormented by schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and more.
Kelly resisted medication and treatment, her mother said, and for the past four years had lived on the streets, mostly right outside the courthouse for convenience because she was often in trouble with the law.
Koike called for more mandatory mental health care for the unhoused who suffer from severe mental illness like her daughter. Under current law, she noted, “if you don’t want to participate, you don’t think there’s something wrong with you, then you can’t hold them.”