Two suspects have been named in the Houston slayings last month of two Oregon cannabis entrepreneurs, Jimmy Martin and Dana Ryssdal.
Jaidan Vu Nguyen and Polie Phan, 25 and 26, respectively, have been charged with capital murder in the gruesome killings of the two Oregonians, both of whom spent much of their time in Portland. The two suspects in what law enforcement officials describe as a weed deal gone wrong remain at large.
A third defendant—a woman named Kathy Vu who was dating Phan—is charged with tampering with evidence and is in custody.
Charging documents for Vu offer a timeline of the day of the murder.
The documents say Martin’s mother told investigators that someone named Phan owed Martin money, somewhere in the tens of thousands of dollars.
Using security camera footage, detectives tracked Martin’s car arriving the day of the murder at a Houston apartment building. He entered the apartment. The two suspects had arrived shortly before him.
Half an hour later, detectives say, footage shows Martin’s car leaving the complex—but being driven by one of the two suspects named in his murder.
According to court filings, Vu, who appears to be a TikTok lifestyle influencer, lived in the apartment where the three men met. Police subsequently executed a search warrant on Vu at her apartment, and she denied knowing anything about the murder.
Detectives later found a note on her phone that “contained a list of items to purchase, including but not limited to bleach, towels and iodine,” according to court filings. She had also FaceTimed Phan six times in a span of 25 minutes after the two suspects left the apartment in Martin’s car, and exchanged text messages about making sure the garage door had been closed.
Filings paint a picture of what likely happened next: The suspects went to Martin’s townhome, which contained 129 pounds of marijuana and 10 pounds of hash oil, and “ransacked” it. Police found Ryssdal dead the following morning, shot multiple times and lying in a pool of blood.
Police found Martin’s Toyota Prius running in the garage after the suspects apparently drove it there from Vu’s apartment. Five days after police took the car to an impound lot, they served a search warrant on it and found Martin’s body in the trunk, shot and bound with duct tape.
Earlier this month, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office discovered an illegal marijuana grow on a property owned by Martin in Southern Oregon.
Martin co-founded Rogue Valley Cannabis, which operates three dispensaries in Southern Oregon and had a distribution arm. He was also a father of a young son. Friends say Martin was in the process of selling his stake in Rogue Valley Cannabis. It’s unclear if he had.
Ryssdal and Martin are described by friends as having larger-than-life personalities and a deep loyalty to those close to them.
Mike Reeves, a former business partner and longtime friend of Ryssdal’s, told WW last month he spoke to Ryssdal on the phone the day he was killed. “We talked about golf and workouts. It was just totally normal,” Reeves recalled. “Total Dana stuff.”
“Dana’s superpower was making people feel seen,” Reeves added. “He was the guy in the room that everybody gravitated towards. He had a laugh that we’ll miss.”