(Picture by Eli Neri on Facebook)
A body found in the rural Napa County area has been confirmed to be that of Viet nurse Bichphuong “Phuong” Le, missing since April 25, report local media.
Fairfield Chief of Police Chief Larry Todd told reporters Monday that the case was being investigated as a homicide, says KTXV News10.com. However, the exact cause of Le’s death was being withheld “because of the potential value it has in our ongoing criminal investigation.” Police said Le’s body had been where it was found for several days.
On Facebook, where the family has set up a page seeking help finding the missing 25-year-old, Phuong’s brother Huong Le wrote,
“I’m devastated that I’ve lost a sister, but at the same time I’m glad that I have many many brothers and sisters who have been helping and guiding me through my difficult times…and I can’t emphasize enough how grateful I am for everything everyone has done for my family.”
Phuong’s friend Lily Tien Nguyen wrote on her Facebook
“I’m sorry that this happened to you and can’t imagine the terrifying ordeals you had to experience. I’m very sorry that we couldn’t help and find you sooner. May your soul RIP where you’re free from torture and pain. Please help your family, friends, and I to ease our pain and sorrow during this rough time.”
The family has been bracing for the worst ever since the body was first found. “Police told us… she was wearing a jade bracelet and a watch that matches my sister’s,” Huong Le told KGO TV.
“She wears it all the time,” he said of the bracelet. “She never took that off.”
A jade bracelet is a typical piece of jewelry that a Vietnamese girl puts on when young and as she grows, the bracelet can’t be removed and becomes pretty much a part of her.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation helped local authorities with the autopsy. Le was identified by her fingerprints, KOVR CBS13 quotes the police chief.
Police are asking the public for help.
Phuong’s car was found by her family in the parking lot of a Barnes and Noble in Fairfield on April 26. Fairfield police put the last time anyone saw Phuong at about 8:30 the evening before in the bookstore.
The last person she spoke to, according to cell phone records, is her former employer Thuc Nguyen, and his home and business were searched, but the police is not considering him a suspect, according to KXTV News 10.
“Due to the fact that she, at some point, was at the Solano Mall, at Barnes and Noble…we find it hard to believe at this point that nobody has seen something, heard something,” Fairfield Police Lt. Darren Moody was quoted by KGO.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Fairfield Police Department at (707) 644-7867 or Crimestoppers at (707) 428-7600.