Stabbing leaves 2 dead; language complicates investigation - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Brutal stabbing leaves 2 dead; language barrier complicates investigation

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PHOENIX -

Phoenix police are working to solve a brutal stabbing that left two men dead near 28th Avenue and Camelback Road on Sunday.

The victims, 54-year-old Ker Reh and 24-year-old Kay Reh, were members of the Burmese community in the valley. At this point, it isn't known if this was random or if they were targeted.

According to police, the men were found inside an apartment and there were anywhere from 40 to 50 others inside with them.

The group had gathered to mourn the loss of a loved one when tragedy struck again. FOX 10 was told that is a Burmese tradition.

Even though there were plenty of witnesses, gathering information has proved very challenging.

"It's a lot of police and I didn't get outside, but I see only the apartment. People are crying, a lot of people are walking here and there," said Nar Batterei, a neighbor.

Neighbors heard the commotion around midnight, the same time Phoenix police received a 911 call reporting a stabbing at the Serrano Village Apartments.

The victims were found inside a three bedroom unit.

"What we understand, at least preliminarily, is that there was some type of altercation involving both victims and possibly two Hispanic males and one Hispanic female that led to this particular apartment where the incident took occurred," said Phoenix Police Sergeant Steve Martos.

Martos says the witnesses either didn't speak English or had a very limited vocabulary, which made it nearly impossible for investigators to gather information and suspect descriptions.

Translators, like Tom Takne, were brought in to help.

"Detective call me and I just come here with the police," said Takne.

According to Takne, the victims were most likely refugees and he described the Burmese community in the valley as a large one.

"Burmese here, like in the Phoenix area, about 400 people live in Phoenix area," said Takne.

Police spent the majority of Sunday talking to witnesses with the help of translators.

The only description of the suspects police have is that they are four teenage Hispanic males and one teenage Hispanic female.

Investigators are asking for assistance from the community in identifying and locating the suspects involved in this incident.  Anyone with information related to this crime is encouraged to call the Phoenix Police Department's Violent Crimes Unit at (602) 262-6141.  Those wishing to remain anonymous may call Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS or 480-TESTIGO for Spanish.


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