The Disappearance and Death of Dave Walker
PROBLEMS WITH SONNY CHHOUN'S MANY STORIES
SONNY CHHOUN's story was that throughout the day of February 14 he was at his and his wife's restaurant on Airport Road. Sonny claimed that when Dave Walker had not returned Chhoun's telephone calls or texts that day, Chhoun became so concerned that he went to Walker's hotel at about 8:00 P.M. in an attempt to locate him, demanding that the hotel staff open Walker's room and let him look inside. [CHHOUN SWORN STATEMENT.PDF English translation (851k) ] [ Sonny Chhoun Statement PDF Khmer Original ]
Sonny Chhoun Seen at the Five Sons Restaurant
before Walker's disappearance
When Chhoun was asked to confirm his presence all day at his and his wife's restaurant, Chhoun claimed that he was at the Barista Cafe and Sivutha Blvd & National Road at 3:00 P.M.
Discrepancy in Sonny's Timeline at the Green
Village Angkor Guest House
"During 3 separate interviews with Tang Mol Nalin (Tang) and 3 other ‘Green Village Angkor Guest House’ staff they stated and corroborated Chhoun had initially attended the guest house at about 1600 [4:00 PM] on February 14 (not 2000 [8:00 P.M.] as he had repeatedly stated and attested) to see Walker where he was told by the duty receptionist, Chin Phillot (Chin) that David Walker (Walker) had departed the guest at about 1400 [2:00 P.M.] that day and had not yet returned. However Chhoun at the time, about 1600, stated to Phillot he had expected Walker to have returned by 1600 because Chhoun and Walker had previously made arrangement to attend a function together that afternoon and Chhoun was adamant Walker had returned unnoticed to his room, and because Walker was not answering Chhoun’s telephone calls, could he gain entry to look inside Walker’s room whereupon Chin admitted Chhoun to Walker’s room, (Room 209) and Chhoun satisfied himself Walker was not present."
When pressed by the investigator as to where he was during the day of February 14, Sonny claimed he was at his restaurant all day until about 7:30 P.M. but could not provide any evidence confirming his claim.
Sonny Reporting Dave Walker Missing Timeline
On Monday, February 17th, Dave Walker's ex-wife PRAIWAN who resides in Ontario, Canada received a telephone call from Sonny Chhoun who she had never met or spoken to before. Chhoun stated that he got her number from Dave's cell phone which Chhoun persuaded the hotel to surrender into his custody on Monday, February 17.
Praiwan stated that Chhoun told her that he
found Dave Walker missing on Saturday (Feb 15) after he demanded that the hotel
open his room. She stated she clearly remembers that Chhoun said
"Saturday" (Feb 15) and not Friday (Feb 14) as she would have found it
"strange" that any of Dave's friends would become alarmed after loosing
touch with Dave after only several hours if he had told her it that it
was Friday that Walker disappeared. Praiwan was also
frustrated that Sonny had not contacted Cambodian Police and demanded he
do so immediately (with Cambodia 12 hours ahead of Ontario, Canada, it
would have been early Tuesday February 18 in Cambodia when Chhoun placed
the call to Praiwan.)
police whine to us that they are getting no help from him."
Report Mon 24 feb 2014
Sonny's Attested Statement (March 6) [See:
Original Sonny Chhoun statement PDF]
Sonny states that the last person according to the phone logs to call Dave Walker before his disappearance was Chandy Long, who placed a call to Walker on Thursday, February 13, the day before his disappearance. It would be several weeks before Cambodian authorities would take custody of the phone and its current location, and whether Sonny's alleged calls to Dave on the morning of February 14 are in Dave Walker's call phone logs, is unknown.
In the ensuing week, Sonny began to level accusations that Chandy Long and Salao Mao were responsible for Walker's abduction and disappearance. Sonny was particularly vehement on Salao Mao's role in Dave Walker's disappearance.
According to Sonny, Salao Mao in the wake of Dave Walker's disappearance was nowhere to be found and shortly afterwards Canadian authorities in the Bangkok Embassy in Thailand (Canada has no embassy or consulate in Cambodia) were alerted that Salao Mao is attempting to renew his Canadian passport that had expired.
On May 1, 2014 Dave Walker's body was discovered and almost immediately Salao Mao left Cambodia for Toronto, Canada on a newly renewed Canadian passport despite the concerns directed to Canada's Foreign Affairs Department about Salao Mao being a person of interest in the disappearance of Walker.
Salao Mao Responds
On the evening of Saturday, May 10, accompanied by two family members, Salao Mao attended the wake for Dave Walker at the Not My Dog bar on Queen Street West in Toronto. Salao was questioned that evening about Chandy Long and his relationship to him, and his family members were shocked and surprised by the length and depth of his relationship with Long. They had never heard of Chandy Long until that day and had no idea who Salao was talking about.
Salao Mao insisted that he was not privy to the meetings between Walker and Long, having only driven Long to the meetings. He stated that indeed Chandy Long, Tori Green and Dave Walker had last met at the Karma Bar on Wednesday, February 12, but that Sonny Chhoun attended the meeting that day as well. Salao Mao insisted that both Walker and Chhoun took numerous meetings together with Chandy Long, contradicting Chhoun's claims made in his statement, but stated that he was unaware of what the meetings were about. Salao stated that despite his close friendship with Walker in Canada, over the recent years since returning to Cambodia he had very little contact with Dave Walker and that he felt that Sonny Chhoun resented him and felt jealous of and threatened by his long standing friendship with Dave and in his opinion, it was Sonny who had alienated Dave from Salao over recent years.
Salao Mao's story changed several times as he spoke. He at first claimed that he had "bumped" into Dave Walker by accident on February 12 at the Karma Bar but later stated that he had driven Chandy Long to the Karma Bar specifically for a scheduled meeting with Walker. Salao Mao stated that on Thursday, February 13, Chandy Long had asked him to call Dave Walker and confirm that he was coming to the venue under discussion on the next day on February 14. Salao stated that he told Chandy to call Walker himself, and that Chandy did so on February 13 and that Chandy told him Walker had said he would not be able to attend the meeting on February 14. When asked why specifically Salao insisted that Chandy make the call rather than himself, he offered no explanation.
It goes without saying, that Salao Mao was extremely reticent to speak about Chandy Long and his relationship with him, other than that they had met over thirty years ago as refugees from the Cambodian genocide. When finally asked, whether Chandy Long was "a wolf or a sheep" Salao Mao hesitated and then replied, "He is a sheep who thinks he is a wolf."
Finally, Salao Mao claimed that it was entirely a coincidence that he sought to renew his passport in the wake of Dave Walker's disappearance and departed Cambodia immediately after the discovery of his body. He stated that he had been in Cambodia several years and was long overdue for a return visit to Canada.
Sonny Chhoun stated that he became suspicious of Salao Mao when he dialed Salao's cell phone from Dave's phone and Salao did not pick up. Chhoun said he then called Salao from another number and Salao picked up. Chhoun said that when he asked Salao if he had heard from Dave Walker, despite having called Salao from Dave's phone earlier, Salao said no. Chhoun said his suspicion was further aroused by Salao's apparent lack of interest or concern about Walker's disappearance. Salao on May 10 stated that he did indeed receive a call from Sonny after Walker's disappearance but that he was in a market and could not understand for the noise what Sonny was trying to say to him.
Salao Mao has since refused to take any further questions about Dave Walker's disappearance or relationship with Chandy Long. He currently is in Canada in the Toronto area.
As a primary witness to Dave Walker's activities in the lead-up to his disappearance, Canadian authorities have not interviewed him despite his presence here since May 2014.
Again, as Sonny Chhoun claims he did not know until he took Dave Walker's cell phone into his possession on Sunday, February 16 that the last person to call it before Walker's disappearance was Chandy Long, why then was Sonny so alarmed on Friday, February 14 as early as 4:00 P.M--two hours after Walker was last seen, as reported by hotel staff--or as late as 8:00 P.M., six hours after Walker had been last seen as Chhoun claims--remains a troubling question that Chhoun has not adequately explained. It suggests that Sonny Chhoun knows much more about that day and the possible danger that Walker might have been facing than Chhoun is prepared to reveal.