What dignity he lacked during his life on the street has been given back to a murdered homeless man in his final resting place.
The tombstone for 83-year-old Chuen Kok, one of four victims slain during a grisly Chinatown rampage in October 2019, was placed on his New Jersey grave last month thanks to a fund-raising effort by a local activist.
“I thought [sic] arrange for a nice send off,” said Karlin Chan. “Nobody wants to lay in an unmarked grave.”
Randy Santos is accused of attacking Kok and the other men with a metal bar while they slept. He first set upon four men on East Broadway, killing three and injuring the fourth. He put down the weapon and walked north to 2 Bowery where he found Kok, authorities allege.
Prosecutors said Santos went back for the metal bar, then returned to Kok and clubbed him to death.
Chan said he had seen Kok around for years but they had never spoken. He had no family and Chan feared he would lay unclaimed in the morgue.
He arranged for the Celestial Love Foundation, which helps families with funeral expenses, to pay for the interment in Princeton Memorial Park in Robbinsville, N.J. He bought Kok a suit and tie to be buried in.
The foundation would not cover the cost of the headstone, so Chan set up a GoFundMe campaign that brought in $4,392.
The stone simply gives Kok’s name, place of birth in Hong Kong and the dates he was born and died.
Two of the other homicide victims were claimed by family and the remains of the third, a Mexican national, were returned to relatives back home.
Chan recently visited Kok’s grave to see the tombstone, leave flowers and pay his final respects.
“Mission accomplished,” he tweeted.