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HPD: Man confesses to killing teenage girlfriend before dumping body in bayou

Thursday, January 23, 2014
Murder suspect says he was testing HPD New details in murder of southeast Houston teen Authorities find body of missing girl in bayou Amber Alert issued for missing Houston teen

Court documents are revealing more details about the murder of a southeast Houston teenager whose body was found in Sims Bayou last night.

An Amber Alert was issued for 17-year-old Vy Ngoc Bao-Pham Thursday. She was found dead in the bayou hours later.

According to police, her on-again-off-again boyfriend, 19-year-old Luan Vu, admitted to first stalking Pham, then strangling her.

Vu now is charged with capital murder. Police say jealousy fueled his attack on the young woman who he claimed he loved.

"She probably not as much as into the relationship as he was. I would have to say that there was an obsession there, on his part," said Fil Waters with the Houston Police Department Homicide Division.

Vu led police to her body Wednesday night in Sims Bayou. According to court documents, there was a sock stuffed into her mouth, ligature marks around her neck.

Police say Vu began stalking Pham last Friday after learning she was dating someone else.

"He told her she needed to turn around and talk to him. She needs to come with him so they can further discuss it. She said, 'I'm not going with you anywhere.' He said, 'Oh yes, you are,'" Waters said.

Once at Sims Bayou, police tell us he pushed her down, choked her, and hit her with a branch, rendering her at least semi-conscious, if not unconscious. That's when they say Vu killed her.

Bao-Pham's family later received a text message asking for $50,000 for her safe return, but she'd already been dead. According to police, Vu, who moved to the U.S. from Vietnam five years ago, said he was testing detectives to see if American cops were as good as he'd heard.

"I think that when you mix love, and you mix obsession and you mix rejection, you've got a perfect storm for this type of an outcome," Waters said.

Court records indicate Vu initially dragged Pham's body under an overpass, that he ran home and got a garment bag and blanket. After dark, he allegedly returned, stuffed the body in the bag, weighted it with rocks and slid her into the bayou.

This case is troubling to those who lived in the same apartment complex as both the victim and the accused.

"That's how we feel like, I feel sorry for both families. The kid is too young, they too young," neighbor Linh Le said.

Vu is held now without bond at the Harris County Jail.

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