Police offer reward in 2002 killing
A Laotian man accused of brutally beating to death a teen in Essex could be back in Canada, say OPP.
On Friday, the OPP announced a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of 46- year- old Savang (Lay) Sychantha.
Police originally issued an arrest warrant for Sychantha in 2002 after the remains of 18- year- old Riad Baroud were discovered in the Chatham-Kent area near Highway 401 in April of that year.
Investigators believe Sychantha and an accomplice seized the victim in Windsor, bound him with duct tape, beat him to death, then drove his corpse to a bush lot for dumping.
Const. Janet Hayes of OPP revealed Friday that investigators now believe Baroud was killed in or around the town of Essex before his body was disposed of. “ That’s new information that has never been released,” she said.
Sychantha fled prosecution by boarding a plane for his native country of Laos in Southeast Asia.
Hayes said provincial police have reason to believe Sychantha has returned to Canada, and could be living in the Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver area under an assumed identity.
Asked why OPP believe this, Hayes replied: “ That’s called ‘ hold back’ information. ( Investigators) hold back substantial information as a way of protecting their informants and part of their investigation.”
Hayes added that unresolved investigations are never closed. “Especial- ly in a more serious crime such as a murder, there are always investigators continually looking into it to see where it stands, looking for tips.”
Asked if there’s a possibility that Sychantha might return to the Windsor and Essex County area, Hayes said: “We’re not ruling anything out. If he’s moved back to Canada, certainly, he could be moving throughout the provinces.”
During the trial of an associate of Sychantha, the court heard that Baroud worked at a pizza parlour owned by Sychantha at Wyandotte Street East and Pillette Road.
The court was told that Baroud and Sychantha were involved in drug trafficking, and that Baroud stole money and jewelry from Sychantha before the murder.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Sychantha is urged to call Det. Sgt. Tim Nyhoff of the Essex detachment’s Criminal Investigations Unit at 519- 723- 2491, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.