December 23, 2022
BATH TOWNSHIP, MI—Two men have been arrested in connection with a murder of a hunter in Bath Township back in 2018.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced on Thursday, December 22, the arrests of Thomas Olson, 34, of Grand Blanc Township, and Robert Rodway, 34, of Saint Johns. Four years, one month, and six days after Chong Moua Yang was found shot dead at the Rose Lake State Game Area.
Olson and Rodway were arrested late Wednesday night by the Michigan State Police Fugitive Team, according to WILX.
Both Olson and Rodway face one count of Felony Murder, which carries a life sentence without the possibility of parole, and one count of Felony Firearm, which carries a two-year prison sentence.
Yang often hunted in the Rose Lake State Game Area, but his wife was alarmed when he didn’t return home. His family drove out to search for him and found his car in the parking lot. They followed two sets of footprints which eventually led them to his body, reports WILX.
When authorities arrived, they found Yang lying face down with an apparent gunshot wound to the head. His firearm and other items were missing.
A $20,000 reward was soon offered for information about Yang’s death.
The Attorney General’s office explained witness testimony and a plastic bag with hunting spray that was recovered near the scene led authorities to Olson and Rodway. Nessel believes the defendants killed Yang while hunting and then stole his headlamp, knife, backpack, wallet, and shotgun.
“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,” stated Nessel. “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.”
Yang’s family released the following statement after the arrest announcement:
“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.
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.”
Both men are due back in court on January 5, 2023.