Missing Falls Church dad, 78, found buried in backyard; son, 19, faces murder charge

Personnel from the Fairfax County Police Department respond to the scene of a homicide on the 3300 block of Nevius Street in Falls Church, Virginia, Sept. 8, 2021. (WTOP/Gigi Barnett)

A man reported missing on Monday in Fairfax County, Virginia, was found dead Wednesday, and police said they have arrested his son on second-degree murder charges.

The Fairfax County police said 78-year-old Truman Nguyen was last seen on Sunday and was reported missing on Monday. He was entered into a national database for missing persons.

Police later received a tip that a body might be buried in the backyard of Nguyen’s house on the 3300 block of Nevius Street in Falls Church, near Justice High School. When officers searched the area, they found a body, which they believe is Nguyen. The body will be sent to the office of the medical examiner for positive identification and determination of cause of death.

Truman Nguyen’s son, 19-year-old Philip Nguyen, who lived in the house, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder in his father’s death. He is being held without bond.

Fairfax County Major Crimes Bureau Chief Ed O’Carroll said it is common practice in the county to initially charge a homicide suspect with second-degree murder, and then adjust the charges later if needed.

Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis said it is the 18th homicide in the county in 2021, and the fifth instance of a son or brother killing a family member.

“This is the fifth time in 2021 … where a father or a mother or a sister … has been murdered by a son or a brother,” Davis said at the scene. “On four separate occasions in 2021, we have homicide victims whose lives have been taken by sons, and a brother — a disturbing trend indeed.”

Ed O’Carroll said officers had responded to this particular residence in the past for domestic incidents, though not recently.

Zeke Hartner

Zeke Hartner is a digital writer/editor who has been with WTOP since 2017. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University’s Political Science program and an avid news junkie.

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