CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — It’s been more than 21 years since Chansay Sayavong was murdered in Cranston, and his older brother says it still causes him emotional heartache.
Now, he hopes city police can help his family find closure as they reopen the unsolved case.
Oudom Soudannarath remembers it was snowing on Feb. 3, 1994, the last night he would see his brother. He says he was with Sayavong mere hours before his body was found floating in Narragansett Bay.
“He said ‘I gotta go out tonight.’ I said ‘okay, you want to go out, go out,” Soudannarath recalled.
Soudannarath didn’t know where his brother went that night. He said there was a knock on his door at 3 a.m., but when he went downstairs there was no one there.
The next day, Soudannarath couldn’t get in touch with his brother, but instead Cranston police contacted him.
“He showed me his wallet and I started crying,” he recalled. “I knew something might be wrong with my brother.”
Cranston police believe Sayavong was bludgeoned to death near the end of Ocean Avenue and thrown into the bay. His car was found abandoned and burned off Route 6 in Johnston that same day.
Soudannarath said his brother worked two jobs and was loved by everyone.
“He tried to make money and send it home to my mother, that’s all,” he said.
Still distraught, Soudannarath hopes detectives will be able to find the killer. He believes it may have been his brother knocking on his door that night, perhaps to say goodbye.
“Back home in our culture, we believe in ghosts. We believe his spirit came to that door,” he said.
Anyone with information relevant to the case is urged to call Det. Michael Iacone of the Special Victims Unit at (401) 477-5062. Anonymous tips can also be submitted through the Cranston Police Department’s website, and a Facebook page has been set up to share information about the case.
Since setting up the page, police said one person has already called in a tip.