WARMINGTON: One body found, one charged but cops still hunt couple’s suspected killer

Phuong Tan Nguyen, aka Mike, of Toronto, is wanted for two counts of first-degree murder

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York Regional Police had feared the worst for a Markham couple and now have discovered the worst.

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They had suspected and prepared the public for the reality that Quoc Tran and Kristy Nguyen had been murdered Sept. 18 at their Ultra Garden Supply business at 111 Zenway Blvd. in Vaughan. Police had put out a picture and information on a suspect as well as a truck they believed had carried the remains of this much-loved Markham couple.

It was a mystery of where they, and the man police allege killed them, had disappeared to. A Canada-wide warrant was issued earlier this week for Phuong Tan Nguyen, who remains at large.

Images released by police of double homicide suspect Phuong Tan Nguyen and a vehicle believed connected to the murder of a Markham couple.
Images released by police of double homicide suspect Phuong Tan Nguyen and a vehicle believed connected to the murder of a Markham couple. Photo by Handouts /York Regional Police

But now police say they have found one of the victim’s bodies and have a recovery effort underway to locate the other one, and have made an arrest of someone they allege was an accomplice after the fact.

“Through investigation, the remains of one body has been recovered at Twin Creeks Landfill and Environmental Centre in Watford, Ont.,” police said Friday in a news release. “Investigators continue efforts to recover the second body, which is believed to be at the same location.”

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Cops say they got the lead on the landfill site thanks to information from the public about the vehicle. Once they were able to determine who was driving the truck they were able to make an arrest and from that learn of the dumping site for the bodies.

Charged with two counts of accessory after the fact of a murder is Recaldo Liburd, 36, of Vaughan.

Recaldo Liburd, 36, of Vaughan, is charged with two counts of accessory after the fact of murder in the slaying of Quoc Tran and Kristy Nguyen.
Recaldo Liburd, 36, of Vaughan, is charged with two counts of accessory after the fact of murder in the slaying of Quoc Tran and Kristy Nguyen. Photo by Handout /YRP

Liburd is in custody and is to appear in Newmarket Superior Court of Justice on Oct. 14.

“The investigation is ongoing,” Const. Maniva Armstrong said in her release. Anyone with information is asked to call the Homicide Unit Tip line at 1-866-287-5025 or email homicide@yrp.ca. They can also call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS, or leave an anonymous tip at www.1800222tips.com.

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It’s a very strange and disturbing case with many unanswered questions. Information is needed here as police try to sort out the motive for this vicious crime. While they say the couple was “targeted,” it’s not clear the reason why. Some on the scene say it may have emanated from an argument over a purchase at their garden supply shop, but police have been keeping potential narratives close the vest.

Quoc Tran and Kristy Nguyen’s Ultra Garden Supply business at 111 Zenway Blvd. in Vaughan, where police say they were murdered.
Quoc Tran and Kristy Nguyen’s Ultra Garden Supply business at 111 Zenway Blvd. in Vaughan, where police say they were murdered. Photo by Joe Warmington /Toronto Sun

What they do say is despite one of the victims and the suspected killer having the same surnames, there is “no relation” between them nor had they ever run across each other.

Now that police have a suspect in custody, it may open a door to learning more about what happened in the suppertime hour on Sept. 18.

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In the meantime, police have an all-out manhunt going on for Phuong Tan Nguyen. Going by the nickname Mike, police warn he is considered extremely dangerous, as well as armed, and for no one to approach him but to call any police department.

This situation is already ugly but with such an alleged killer on the lam, police do not want to see anyone else hurt.

jwarmington@postmedia.com

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