Philadelphia

Throat Slashing Leaves Cook Dead in Basement of Open South Philadelphia Restaurant

A woman working at a South Philadelphia restaurant died after police say someone slashed her throat inside the basement of the open eatery Thursday night.

The owners of Lee's Cafe and Bistro on Washington Avenue near 5th Street flagged down patrolling officers just after 9 p.m. after they found the 54-year-old woman beaten and bloodied in the basement, which serves as the kitchen of the Vietnamese restaurant, said Philadelphia Police.

"She had a deep cut to her neck and she was pronounced dead," said Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small outside the restaurant as investigator searched for clues inside.

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There were signs of a violent struggle.

"There is a lot of blood next to her body, there is some overturned kitchen equipment -- a piece of kitchen equipment is actually laying on her body," said Small. "In addition to her throat being slashed, she also has some facial injuries."

Lee's Cafe normally closes at 10 p.m. There were four other employees and about five customers inside the eatery that features take out on the ground floor and sit-down tables on the second floor, said Small.

Police identified the victim as Thoung Nguyen of Emily Street. Lee's owner found Nguyen dead after it took about 10 minutes for an order to come out. She was working in the kitchen with another employee at the time of her death, said police.

Police interviewed the witnesses and looked for surveillance video from outside the restaurant in hopes of tracking down the woman's killer.

The eatery is well-received on Yelp, getting four out of five stars.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Philly police.

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