On February 13, 2000 Nghia Tan Pham was fatally shot while she was heading southbound down Interstate 15. Apparently she had been driving somewhere between State Route 163 and State Route 52. Medics took Pham to a hospital, but she died a short time afterward. She was only 16 years old at the time.
Her suspected killer was never captured, but cold case detectives from the Sand Diego Police Department now think they have the case solved. Phong Thanh Huynh, age 36, was arrested all the way out in Helena, Montana on Wednesday September 11.
He was arrested on suspicion of being connected with the murder of Nghia Tan Pham in the year 2000. Over the years homicide detectives continued to work on the case very diligently. They learned about some pieces of evidence that pointed to Huynh as a chief suspect. The Cold Case Unit of the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office then issued an arrest warrant for Huynh.
During the afternoon hours on Wednesday, officials from the U.S. Marshals and the Helena Police Department arrested Huynh. They reported no incident when they found him at his job at a nail salon in the Helena area. He was then taken into custody, and apparently he cooperated throughout the entire procedure. Defense attorneys are always able to use these sorts of efforts when they put together defenses for a client.
While he is currently being held in custody at the Lewis and Clark Detention Center in Montana, officials back home are confident that he will be safe back in custody in San Diego soon enough.
According to reports, the Lewis and Clark County Sheriff's Department also had to get involved in the arrest efforts. Whenever suspects are moved across state or even county boundaries, things can get rather dicey. It can be difficult to decide which way is the legal way to move someone. This makes some operations extremely difficult. Of course, the arrest of Phong Thanh Huynh seems to have gone off without a hitch.