The person of interest in the case of a missing San Francisco man was a longtime employee at a Hayward warehouse where body parts were discovered Sunday, and police had searched the warehouse previously without finding anything, the San Francisco Police Department said Monday.
The body parts found at U.S. Trading Co., a food distributor, were being tested by the San Francisco Medical Examiner on Monday against DNA samples provided by the family of Piseth Chhay, an Uber driver who has been missing since May 14. Chhay left his San Francisco home that day to meet family friend Bob Tang and never returned, Chhay's wife, Rattana Kim, said.
Tang, a person of interest in Chhay's disappearance, worked at U.S. Trading for several years, the company said Monday in a statement, adding that it is cooperating with the investigation. NBC Bay Area also learned that the company is owned by relatives of Tang.
Police were called to the warehouse Sunday morning after workers there reported a strong odor. Several bags were found containing body parts, police said.
"I just hope and pray it's not my husband," Kim said. "He needs to come home to these boys; he needs to come home to me."
Documents obtained by NBC Bay Area on Monday show police had searched the Hayward warehouse previously on May 24, the same day they announced foul play was suspected in the case and Tang was a person of interest. It's unclear why the remains were not found then.
Sources told NBC Bay Area that San Francisco police investigators requested cadaver dogs during that initial search, but the dogs weren't used to search for a body.
Tang has been missing since May 24, the day he was scheduled to meet with police for questioning and didn't show. His vehicle was found at San Francisco International Airport a day later. Police believe he may have fled to his native Cambodia.
"We are working closely with our federal partners to locate Mr. Tang," San Francisco police spokesman Robert Rueca said.
The U.S. does not have an extradition treaty with Cambodia, so it's not clear yet whether Tang could be forced to return to the Bay Area to face any possible charges if he is found.
Immigration attorney Joseph LaCome says someone who kills here and escapes to there, may never face justice.
"Even with something as bad as murder, the U.S. can't force the Cambodian government to bring him back," attorney Joseph LaCome said.
The case has been turned over to the San Francisco Police Department's homicide unit.
NBC Bay Area's Terry McSweeney contributed to this report.