Three days after a woman fatally ran over a Las Vegas nail salon manager to avoid paying for a $35 manicure, the victim’s family is anxiously awaiting justice.
“Police are doing everything they can to find the woman… but we still don’t have any answers,” Sonny Chung, Nhu “Annie” Nguyen’s longtime boyfriend and co-manager of Crystal Nails and Spa, told The Daily Beast Monday.
The suspect, who has not yet been identified by police, was attempting to drive away from the Las Vegas salon in a rented black Chevrolet Camaro at around 3:30 p.m. Saturday when she ran over Nguyen, who was trying to stop her from leaving without paying her bill, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Lt. Ray Spencer told The Daily Beast.
Authorities say the suspect’s credit card was declined when she went to pay for her manicure. At that point, she told Nguyen that she was going to get an additional form of payment from her car and would be right back, police said.
When the customer got to her rental car, she tried to drive away, but Nguyen and Chung ran out after her.
“She and I both ran outside to stop her after her credit card had been declined and she was trying to drive away,” Chung said. “But she continued to drive toward my wife. I tried to stop the car with my hands but she just kept moving.”
Nguyen, a mother of three, stood in front of the customer’s car, begging her to get out and pay her bill. Instead, the woman “drove over her and dragged her about 50 feet,” authorities said.
A witness told The Daily Beast the incident unfolded “so so fast” and police arrived at the scene about 15 minutes later.
“Annie was also such a kind and hardworking person. We are all devastated this happened to her,” the witness, who works at a store next to the salon and asked to remain anonymous, said Monday.
The 51-year-old nail salon manager was rushed to University Medical Center of Southern Nevada, where she was pronounced dead, the Clark County coroner’s office said Monday.
“Nguyen suffered from multiple blunt force injuries,” the coroner’s office said, adding that her death has been classified as a homicide.
Described by authorities as a “white woman in her mid-20s,” the suspect fled the scene in the rental car, which had been reported stolen by a rental agency three weeks prior. Hours after the incident, police found the stolen car at a nearby apartment complex.
“We do not believe the person who originally rented the car is the suspect,” Lt. Spencer said.
Nguyen’s family was in town visiting her and her significant other for the holidays when she was killed, Chung said. The pair, who settled in Las Vegas two years ago, loved their work and were often at the nail shop 12 hours a day, seven days a week.
Family members, who declined to speak, asked for “privacy during this heartbreaking time.”
“She was so proud of our nail salon and even though her family was visiting, she couldn’t stay away,” Chung said, adding that her family has established a GoFundMe page for her funeral expenses. “We just want justice for her and answers as to why someone who kill her over a billing dispute.”
Nguyen’s family is expected to hold funeral services after the new year. The salon is closed until “further notice,” Chung said.