WARING: The story contains disturbing details that may not be suitable for all readers. Discretion is advised.
The man who lived with the decomposing remains of two deceased females for months inside a Vancouver SRO unit — before being found dead himself in February — was wanted on a Canada-wide warrant for drugging and sexually assaulting a third woman at the time of his death.
Global News can now identify the man who rented the suite where the remains of Noelle O’Soup and Elma Enan were ultimately discovered as Van Chung Pham.
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Five days before Pham’s body was be discovered on Feb. 23, 2022, he was charged with sexual assault, drug trafficking, and overcoming resistance — administering a drug or a stupefying agent — in connection to an incident that allegedly occurred on Nov. 19, 2020.
“There was a Canada-wide warrant that was issued as a result of the Vancouver police investigation,” Vancouver police Sgt. Steve Addison told Global News Thursday.
“The person who we believe committed these offenses has since died.”
Coroner didn’t attend sudden death scene where Noelle O’Soup’s body was eventually found
Global News can also now report that a young woman, who was alive, was found living inside Pham’s unit at The Heatley Block on the day his body was discovered. It’s unclear how long that other female had been living in, or visiting, unit 16.
“She had dark hair, short dark hair. She came out, sat down here [outside the building]. And then we never heard anything until three months later,” Chris Seres, whose unit is directly across from Pham’s, said of the woman who left Pham’s suite alive. He says she was interviewed by police officers at the scene.
Multiple residents and people with intimate knowledge of the discovery of the decomposing remains inside Pham’s suite, tell Global News one of the bodies was discovered in a blue recycling bin, which had been taped closed.
After weeks of inquiries and interview requests from Global News, It’s the first time the Vancouver Police Department has commented publicly on Pham, and the allegations against him at the time of his death.
“What I can tell you is that a man named Van Chung Pham was the subject of a Vancouver police investigation that started in November 2020, and resulted in a number of charges being laid,” Addison said.
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The BC Prosecution Service also confirmed the name in an e-mail.
It also revealed that just days before Pham was found dead, provincial Crown counsel had charged him with administering drug or overcoming resistance, and cocaine and heroin trafficking.
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“The information was abated by the Crown (based on reliable evidence that the accused has died) on March 1, 2022,” the BC Prosecution Service’s Gordon Comer confirmed.
The sudden death of Pham, in his mid-forties, is not considered suspicious. The deaths of O’Soup and Enan are under investigation by the Vancouver Police Department’s Major Crime Section.
Questions remain surrounding the disappearance of Noelle O’Soup
When asked if police are looking at other suspects than Pham in connection to the suspicious deaths of O’Soup and Enan, Addison did not answer directly, only stating the investigation was “still open.”
For neighbourhood residents like Candice Norris, who is Indigenous, the thought of any other potential suspects still walking the streets of the Downtown Eastside is haunting.
She said the cases of several young Indigenous women who went missing and were later found dead, including Chelsea Poorman, Tatyanna Harrison, Noelle O’Soup, and Kwemcexenalqs Manuel-Gottfriedson, remained top of mind.
“I went through Pickton, and I watched all my friends go missing,” Norris said.
“It breaks my heart that the Indigenous community is screaming for help. And we’re still being murdered, and raped and going missing.”
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