Using DNA, Arlington police make arrest in 2012 double homicide

An arrest was recently made in the 2012 double murder at this apartment on Waverly Drive in Arlington.
An arrest was recently made in the 2012 double murder at this apartment on Waverly Drive in Arlington. Star-Telegram archives

Police have made an arrest in a high-profile double homicide from 2012, and the breakthrough in the cold case came through DNA analysis of a marijuana cigarette.

Willie Guillory, 20, of Fort Worth was in the Tarrant County Jail on Wednesday with bail set at $250,000. A capital murder arrest warrant was secured by police on Tuesday, Arlington police Lt. Chris Cook said.

Guillory was 16 when Long Nguyen, 72, and his wife, Huong Ly, 63, were found dead on June 10, 2012, in the master bedroom of their apartment in the 3600 block of Waverly Drive. Nguyen and Ly were asphyxiated, the Tarrant County medical examiner’s office said.

Nguyen and Ly “had extensive trauma inflicted upon them during their attack and they both were bound,” according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

A motive remained unclear Wednesday. Guillory, who was convicted of a misdemeanor theft in Tarrant County in 2014, did not appear to have any connection with the Vietnamese couple, the affidavit stated. Detectives got a break in the case in October when a possible DNA match was discovered from a marijuana joint recovered at the scene.

Long Nguyen, 72, and his wife, Huong Ly, 63, were found dead June 10, 2012, at their home in the 3600 block of Waverly Drive in Arlington.

“This suspect, now an adult, was located and arrested for a parole violation,” Cook said. “The department obtained a search warrant for the suspect’s saliva for further comparison purposes.”

Detectives were notified Nov. 2 that the suspect’s DNA matched what was found on the joint at the scene of the homicide.

“The meticulous crime scene processing that occurred highlights how important every little detail is in a significant crime scene and the role of DNA testing that has afforded us this opportunity to bring much needed closure to the victim’s family,” said Arlington Police Chief Will Johnson. “This is the second case since October that DNA analysis has solved a murder case in our community.”

$250,000 bond set on the suspect, Willie Guillory, 20, of Fort Worth.

In an interview with the Star-Telegram in 2012, Nguyen and Ly’s family friend, Cindy Dao, said the couple moved to Arlington from Vietnam in about 2000 “to live their American dream.” Ly owned an Arlington sewing shop.

You always think that you're safe.

Family friend Cindy Dao, in 2012

About a week before the slayings, Ly told relatives that she was awakened about 3 a.m. by the sound of someone knocking on her door. The couple were last seen about 11 p.m. on June 9, 2012, returning home from a family gathering, a friend said.

The family was “just in disbelief that something like this could happen,” Dao said in 2012. “You always think that you're safe.”

On Wednesday, Dao said she and the family wanted to express “a lot of gratitude” to Arlington police for following through on the case.

“Three years has been a long time of waiting and not knowing,” Dao said. “Three years seemed like 10 or 20 years. Every day you think about it.”

She said she and the family “prayed every day” a suspect would be found. But they kept their expectations low.

“We always had hope, but you don’t want to live on hope and then have your hope shattered,” she said. “We’re never going to get them back. The question now is, Why?”

This report includes material from the Star-Telegram archives.

Ryan Osborne: 817-390-7684, @RyanOsborneFWST