Vietnam urges US to investigate murder of citizen in San Francisco

Vehicles on a street in San Francisco. Photo by Reuters

American police reported the murder of the 23-year-old woman from Ho Chi Minh City last month.

Vietnam is pushing police in San Francisco to identify the culprit behind the murder of a Vietnamese national last month, and has pledged to help transport the victim’s ashes back to Vietnam.

Police in Placer County, San Francisco, informed the Vietnamese Consulate of the murder on February 14. The victim has been identified as Tran Thi Trang, a 23-year-old woman from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s foreign ministry said at a press briefing on Thursday.

“Vietnamese agencies have asked the Placer police to step up their investigation and quickly bring the culprit to trial,” ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang said.

They have also asked the police to help the Vietnamese consulate and the victim’s family to bring her ashes home “as soon as possible,” Hang said.

Her family has been informed and is receiving assistance from foreign affairs officials in HCMC, she said.

Trang was a Vietnamese national student living in Sacramento on a student visa.

She was married to 28-year-old Michael Forest Abeyta, who was arrested days after police found her skeleton remains in the woods on January 27.

Detectives said they found evidence at the scene that links Abeyta to the woman’s death, KCRA reported.

There are more than 1.7 million people of Vietnamese origin living in the U.S., and around half of them in California. The U.S. is also a popular destination for Vietnamese students and travelers.



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