Speculation that remains may be that of missing Uber driver
SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - Relatives of a San Francisco man, possibly murdered by a family friend, say rumors about motive only add to their pain. Piseth Chhay disappeared six weeks ago, and this past weekend dismembered remains were found, that may be his.
"We want to find justice, not only do we want to find my cousin, but we want to find justice," Chhay's cousin, Sovanarath Chi told KTVU.
Chi organized searches for Chhay in May, when she feared his work as an Uber driver had put him in harm's way.
Chhay's wife Rattana only knew, on Mother's Day afternoon, he stepped out to help a friend.
"This is hell, that's the only word for it," Rattana told KTVU at the time, pleading, "bring my husband back to me."
Police say Chhay's longtime friend, Bob Tang, fled to Cambodia rather than talk to them about Chhay's disappearance.
Then this past Saturday, a stench noticed by employees at a Hayward warehouse led to the discovery of body parts in several bags.
Tang worked at that warehouse for 20 years.
"Nobody in our family wants to believe that it's him in the warehouse," said Chi, "and we want to believe he's kidnapped, kept somewhere, and we'll be able to find him soon, alive."
It seems unlikely Piseth Chhay will be coming home to his family in the Mission Terrace neighborhood.
His two sons, ages eight and eleven, have been told very little.
The family says it's baffled by what happened between the two men, and they want to silence speculation.
"It hurts not only my cousin, but me as well, and the whole family," said Chi.
She was referring to rumors that Tang and Chhay had financial ties that soured, possibly gambling debt:
"The gambling part is not true, police have confirmed it's not true, and owing money is also not true," declared Chi.
Especially distressing, says Chi, is the suggestion that Chhay, married for 20 years, was having an affair with Tang's wife.
"My cousin is a very dedicated husband, " said Chi, noting that the two families had socialized and vacationed together for years.
"They traveled the world together so they all had a close relationship, but that shouldn't be rumored as an affair," Chi insisted, "and it is painful, rumors that sound to me like they're blaming the victim, my cousin, and it shouldn't be that way."
Of Bob Tang, she says, she never saw a hint of temper or violence.
"They were a very social couple, very outgoing," Chi observed.
And she appeals to Tang's family, should they know his whereabouts.
"If you guys are watching, please provide us with information, where he is so we can actually find justice for my cousin."
A GoFundMe account has been set up, originally to help fuel the search effort.
Now it is aimed at helping the family, since Chhay's wife has not been going to her nursing job, since her husband disappeared.
The family has been told it could take weeks for the Hayward remains to be identified because DNA testing will be required.
A GoFundMe page has been launched for Chhay.