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Family, Friends Of Slain Fruit Vendor Gather For Candlelight Vigil

Don Ly's son (in blue) and others kneel in prayer during a candlelight vigil Thursday night. (Credit: Tim Jimenez)

Don Ly’s son (in blue) and others kneel in prayer during a candlelight vigil Thursday night. (Credit: Tim Jimenez)

Tim Jimenez Tim Jimenez
Tim Jimenez is a general assignment reporter at KYW Newsradio...
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By Tim Jimenez

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Investigators are still trying to find the killer of a South Philadelphia fruit vendor who was stabbed to death in front of his home last week (see related story). On Thursday night, the victim’s loved ones gathered to remember him during a candlelight vigil.

Don Ly’s fruit truck is still parked in front of his home on the 400 block of Vollmer Street where his family, friends and neighbors gathered for the vigil. It was at this location, 5 a.m. on Thursday, April 18, when police say he was fatally stabbed as he was doing what he did every morning — prepare for the day ahead of him.

Nothing was taken from the 68-year-old man. Hoanh Ly, his son, speaking on behalf of his shaken family, is wondering why anyone would kill his father.

“His wallet was actually returned to us by police. Everything is still in his wallet. To be exact, $194 was still in his pocket from the night prior and there was nothing taken from him at all,” Ly explains.

READ: Grieving Family Speaks Out About Fruit Vendor’s Murder

Cindy Suy, director of operations with the Cambodian Association of Greater Philadelphia, helped organize the vigil, which was attended by dozens, including monks who led the prayers.

“The Cambodian population is a small community in Philadelphia, so everyone knows about this. It has had a great deal of impact in our community,” she said.

Those in attendance, candles in hand, were asked to share memories of Mr. Ly. John Rowan, who lives a few doors down, said he “couldn’t find a better neighbor.”

“Generous, kind. He was a good guy all around. I’ll miss him as a neighbor and as a friend,” Rowan said.

“I saw Mr. Ly almost every day and he was so kind and gentle,” Ly’s next door neighbor said, fighting off tears. “I can’t imagine anybody that could do something like this to such a kind, gentle man. He was always good to everybody in the neighborhood. He was so soft spoken, you could hardly hear him speak.”

Ly’s funeral services take place Friday night and Saturday morning at Preah Buddha Rangsey Temple on 2400 South 6th Street. And as he is remembered as a husband, father, grandfather, brother, neighbor and friend, police are still trying to identify a suspect.

“Anybody that knows something, just contact the police,” Hoanh Ly said. “We’re trying to hold on as much as we can.”

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