Two men arrested for 2018 murder of Hmong hunter in Michigan

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Two men have been arrested in connection with the homicide of a Hmong hunter in Michigan in 2018.

Chong Moua Yang, 68, reportedly left his home in Lansing, Michigan, between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Nov. 16, 2018. His family grew worried after he failed to return home after dark.

Later that evening, Yang was discovered dead via gunshot wound by his family in the Rose Lake Wildlife area in Bath Township, Michigan, according to the FBI.

Yang’s body was reportedly found north of East Clark Road and east of Upton Road. Upon the police’s arrival, he was found lying face down. His shotgun, Hmong knife, and backpack were no longer with him.

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More than four years after the incident, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced the arrest of Grand Blanc Township’s Thomas Olson, 34, and Saint Johns’ Robert Rodway, 34, by the Michigan State Police Fugitive Team in connection with the homicide.

Both individuals were charged on Thursday with felony murder and felony firearm, according to WILX. One count of felony murder carries a life sentence without the possibility of parole, while one count of a firearm felony is considered a two-year felony.

Both individuals are being held without bond.

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The Attorney General’s Office, led by Nessel, revealed that a witness testimony and a plastic bag of hunting spray found near the scene helped the police find Olson and Rodway.

“The Bath Township Police Department worked closely with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other local agencies and prosecutors to gather evidence, establish a timeline of events, and locate the defendants,” Nessel stated. “I am grateful for their persistence and hard work in pursuing this case. Chong Yang’s family deserves justice, and we are working hard to make sure they receive it.”

Following the announcement, Yang’s family issued a statement, saying:

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“For the last four years, we have struggled with the knowledge that someone out there decided to end Chong Moua’s life and leave him to die alone in the woods. But today, Thursday, December 22, 2022, marks the first day that we can come up for a little fresh air.

With the arrest of two men, Thomas Olson and Robert Rodway comes bittersweet emotions of excitement and anxiousness. We admit that during these last four years of the investigation, there were times when we were angry, frustrated, and impatient with the whole process. But…we never lost hope.

We never lost hope that through the diligent effort of Bath Township, the FBI, and numerous other agencies, we would be able to find answers. We never lost hope that someone, somewhere would be able to provide information that would lead to the arrest of these killers. Today is the start of the journey to finding answers and closure. We start that journey of holding the people who killed Chong Moua responsible for their actions.

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We want to thank the law enforcement community for their commitment to this case. The hunting community for their unwavering support for one of their hunting brothers. And the community as a whole, those near and far, for all their love and support during the darkest time in our lives.

We know that the arrests are only the first steps in this chapter, but are encouraged that the Attorney General’s office will pursue this matter diligently, and bring these men to justice.”

Olson and Rodway’s probable cause conference has been scheduled for Jan. 5, 2023.

Their preliminary hearing will be held on Jan. 12, 2023.

A $20,000 reward is reportedly being offered for individuals who can provide information about Yang's death. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Bath Township Police Department at (517) 641-6271 or Crime Stoppers at (517) 483-STOP (7867). Individuals can also contact their local FBI office or the nearest American Embassy/Consulate.