Po­lice of­fer re­ward in 2002 killing

Windsor Star - - Lo­cal - BY DAL­SON CHEN STAR STAFF RE­PORTER

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.

Fled coun­try

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.

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