MINNEAPOLIS -- True Thai has been voted one of the best places to eat in Minneapolis over and over again. But things will be different now. The heart of their kitchen is gone.
Anousone Phanthavong, 38, was one of the restaurants best chefs. He was supposed to stop by the restaurant to pick up some gas money Tuesday night but he never made it, according to Chuck Whitney, owner of True Thai and a close friend.
Phanthavong was just a block away filing up his car on the I-94 ramp near Riverside Avenue when a Mercedes SUV hit him and then took off. The money his boss left him lay in the restaurant untouched.
"When I came this morning it was still there. So very sad," Whitney said.
Panthavong's family is now left with many questions and no answers. They are pleading for anyone with information to help.
"He's still so young and the family is so upset," Keo Phanthavong, Anousone's mother said through an interpreter.
Phanthavong was just getting his life together. As refugee from Laos, and one of five children, he didn't have a lot growing up but dreamed big.
"He always think that okay, one of these days he's going to make it when he comes to United States. He's going to own his own restaurant in future," Latsany Phanthavong, his sister oldest sister said.
That dream came closer to reality when Phanthavong cooked for U2 during their concert last month. That's stress most of us couldn't handle but Phanthavong was different.
"He was so dependable. He was the kind of guy on his day of he would come in by check and make sure things were running good in the kitchen," Whitney said.
The kitchen is where he was supposed to be Wednesday morning doing what he loved best. But instead his funeral was being planned.
State Patrol spokesman Lieutenant Eric Roeske tweeted that investigators are looking for a 2007-2011 Mercedes, possibly model GKL 300, ML 320, ML 350, ML 500, or ML 63.
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