VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – The suspect in Vancouver’s sixth murder of 2014 has died. Kong “David” Nguyen was discovered Sunday afternoon, hanging from a tree.
The body was found by a 13-year-old walking along Gladstone Park’s trails in South Vancouver.
Constable Brian Montague with Vancouver Police says officers rushed to cut Nguyen’s body from the tree and paramedics tried to revive him. “I don’t know if he was alive or not. They tried to resuscitate him, but were unsuccessful.”
Nguyen was the estranged husband of the victim of Thi Tam Nguyen, who was found dead Saturday in the basement suite she lived in on 41st Avenue and Rupert Street with the couple’s four-year-old son.
“They are ex husband and wife. They were not living together at the time. He’s the father of the four year old,” says Montague.
He wouldn’t confirm whether Nguyen had been texting friends just before his death. “We had been searching quite vigorously for the suspect. We were aware of who he was. We were aware he was still in the Lower Mainland. We were just one step behind him.”
This was a domestic abuse case, according to Montague, and wasn’t the first time police had been involved. “In 2011, our suspect was charged in a domestic violence assault. I don’t know the outcome of that charge. We had been to the home on a couple of other occasions.”
Montague says the last time officers were called to the basement suite was 2013, and there were no restraining orders. He is unsure of the outcome of the charges.
Meanwhile, Kong Nguyen’s friend Son Phan says he’s shocked by what happened. “He’s a good father. He really loved his son.”
Phan came to Gladstone Park, but wouldn’t say how he knew Nguyen was there.
As for Nguyen’s son, “He’s a very cute boy. He’s friendly and always smiling,” says Phan, who believes Thi Tam Nguyen’s family will take care of him.
He didn’t want to say whether his friend shared any problems he was having. “That’s his personal family problems.”
Vancouver Police will be doing a follow-up to figure out if there was anything the force could have done differently according to Montague. He adds the Domestic Violence Unit does watch cases and individuals that include ongoing domestic violence issues and in some cases, police will assign a counsellor to a family, but Montague couldn’t say whether that was done in this instance.