David Pham remembered fondly by those lucky to have met him
FEELINGS of shock and devastation are reverberating around the Rockhampton community following the death of popular teenager David Pham.
Police continue to seek public assistance for their investigation into the "unusual" death of Mr Pham, 18, whose body was discovered in the back seat of a vehicle on Brendonna Rd, Burua, a suburb south of Gladstone on Wednesday afternoon.
On social media, Mr Phams's posts in recent months talked of a "new beginning" and it being "time for a fresh start and unknown adventures".
After employing Mr Pham as a workshop cleaner eight months ago, Tropical Auto Group general manager Tim Green provided an insight into his plan for the future.
"He was finishing up. Last Friday was his last day of work with us, he told us he was going back overseas," Mr Green said yesterday.
"Back home to where he come from, which I presume was to Vietnam, someone told me.
"He said he was going back home visiting. I don't know whether it was for a long period of time or a holiday. But once he said he was resigning from here, well that was his business from then."
Mr Green said Mr Pham as was well known throughout the workforce. He didn't say a lot but was friendly, polite, reliable and there were never any complaints against him.
"From a professional point of view, we had no issues with the guy at all," he said.
"He was just a good, honest worker. A good, young kid, he turned up every day, did his job and it's hard to find those reliable kids that come to work every time nowadays.
"It's a shame anyone at that age loses their life, it's terrible."
Principal of Emmaus College, Mr Eamon Hannan, said today that the entire Emmaus College community has been saddened to hear of the passing of one of its 2017 senior students, Phuc Thien Hoang (David) Pham.
Mr Hannan conveyed to the Pham family and David's friends the deepest sympathies and prayers of all in the Emmaus College Community at this sad time.
"This sad news has impacted our community and all those who knew David well. Grief affects us all in different ways and I encourage everyone to look out for each other and to support each other at this time," Mr Hannan said.
Counselling support and services have been offered to members of the Emmaus College community.
Mr Pham's former coach at Emmaus College and at Nerimbera Football Club, Bevan Dingley, said his team mates were "devastated, "stunned" and in "total shock" after learning about his death at last night's training session.
"It affects a lot of players in the club because he was involved with them at school and within the Nerimbera club community," Mr Dingley said.
"Everyone was stunned and I've been thinking about him ever since."
Mr Dingley described Mr Pham as a respected leader who was very respectful towards him, always shaking his hand and calling him "sir".
"I've not heard a bad word about him. He always got on with everyone and would do anything for you if he could, he used to go that extra mile for everyone."
Mr Pham was a "little workaholic" at the Stockland food court before going to TAFE and taking up employment with the Tropical Auto Group.
One of his acts of kindness stands out in his former coach's mind from his days in high school.
"At school, the girls out numbered the boys at the formal when they go up the red carpet. David helped three girls out. He went back and walked each of them down the red carpet so they'd have a partner," Mr Dingley said.
"That's always stuck in my mind how nice a bloke he was to do that, so the girls had photos, it was really well done, that's the sort of kid he was."
Police say they have no suspects and investigations are continuing. They are seeking motorists with dash-cam footage of a white Suburu SUV with Queensland registration 164 XQK, or who witnessed the vehicle travelling on the Bruce Highway or Brendonna Rd on Tuesday or Wednesday to contact police on 131444.
TRIBUTES TO DAVID PHAM
Felicity Bass: A life lost far too young. Can't believe you're actually gone. We have had many memories and good times and you will be truly missed. We will meet again someday. Rest In Peace David.
Cameron Harrigan: Dave it is so surreal that this has happened, never would've thought I'd have to write this.
It has torn me to pieces to have to say goodbye to you, you made me laugh every day we spent together, I still had a chuckle through the tears while I reminisced.
I've always thought it, the world needs you and people like you. You're so kind, genuine, funny, and aspirational. You were destined for great things and it's a true crime that it was stolen from you. We'll all miss you so dearly, I'll see you again one day.
Tom Pang: Nobody talked about the concept of Chi better than David and nobody admired Bruce Lee more than David. He knew a hidden meaning about my name before even I did and I've hung onto that hidden meaning as a part of my identity ever since.
Since I went down to Sydney to live I've always missed everyone in Emmaus, and when we played soccer every break with you and the boys in Year 9, I've always looked forward to when we could all reunite and talk good times. You were the best and funniest goalie, because you either didn't let a ball past, or let it pass in spectacular fashion.
I left too soon, and I was planning to make it up to everyone for the days lost, just never expected that I won't ever be able to fulfil the promise to you.
Wherever you are now David, I can only wish and hope that you find the tranquilise that you couldn't find here.
Leyah Phongam: To all David's friends, his family invites everyone to their home for pray and farewell for David at 7pm tonight until Sunday night, please join us if you can.