‘I was hopeful there would be a homecoming’: Family member reflects on ‘nightmare’ of gruesome slaying

Crime

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — The family of Shane Nguyen, the man killed in one of the city’s more gruesome killings in recent memory, said the last few days have been a “nightmare” but they’ve been touched by support from the community.

Shane Nguyen is shown with this two children.

Shane Nguyen, also known as John, was reported missing last week. Two days later, on Sunday, the 55-year-old was found dead and his body dismembered in his own van.

Tran Hoang is Nguyen’s cousin, but she said he was more of a father figure or the fun uncle to her. She told WANE 15’s Briana Brownlee that none of this makes sense, and she is still in disbelief.

“One minute he was missing and I was being so hopeful that there would be a homecoming,” Hoang said. “There is no way I could’ve imagine what happened. It’s such a nightmare.”

Hoang said her cousin’s motto was “life is to short and you have to enjoy it.” She said Nguyen did just that by always lending a helping hand, feeding the community and, of course, serving up a few great dad jokes.

“Taking those moments for yourself, he was always about that, and so I feel like he definitely lived life to the fullest,” Hoang said. “He was such a giving person, always feeding the family. He never said no, he always found a way to help somebody. He was such a jokester.”

Hoang said Nguyen’s killing has been tragic, but a silver lining has been the support and love the family has received from the community. A GoFundMe* to support Nguyen’s family was launched Tuesday. As of Wednesday late afternoon, it had raised more than $115,000.

“So much gratitude, and it kind of helps with the emotions when they are really down, to see how much support that we have from the support of the community,” Hoang said.

*WANE.com does not assure that the monies or donations deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a donation, you should consult your own advisers and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

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