Correction: An earlier version of this story mis-spelled the last name in Captain Fredy’s nickname.
Warwick, RI – Two Warwick men face first-degree murder and conspiracy charges in the death of Fernando Silva, 70, “Captain Fredy” to locals, during an apparent robbery of his recent Keno winnings, police report.
Richard Baribault, 40, of 20 Messer St., Warwick, is charged with first degree murder, consipiracy, receiving stolen goods, and possession of weapons other than firearms. The latter charge was for possession of a knife longer than three inches, unrelated to the murder, said Major Christine Kelly during a press conference Thursday at Warwick Police Headquarters at 99 Veterans Memorial Dr.
Troy Gunderway, 44, of 82 Church Ave., Warwick, is charged with first degree murder and conspiracy.
Silva, officially missing since Aug. 1, was found dead on his sailboat in the water near the end of Randall Avenue Aug. 15 by the harbormaster, Jeff Barris, who had moved the vessel to a safe location during the Aug. 4 Macro-burst storm, said Det. Captain Christopher Stewart.
Silva was well known among locals, Stewart said, and described by The Warwick Beacon as a sea-faring nomad and author of “The Blessed Voyage.”
When Barris returned to the sailboat Aug. 15, “He could smell an odor coming off the boat,” said Stewart. Barris then discovered what Kelly described as Silva’s “severely decomposed” body.
Barris called Warwick Police, who responded to the scene, and began an investigation that led them to Baribault and Gunderway, Stewart said.
The two men had apparently learned of Silva’s recent Keno lottery winnings of several hundred dollars and conspired to assault and rob him, which they did on Aug. 2, injuring and killing Silva.
Police would not disclose the amount of money the men took from Silva, since their investigation is continuing, Stewart said.
Baribault is known to police for a history of domestic violence charges, while Gunderway has a record of breaking and entering, Stewart said. Both men are being held at the ACI without bail. Their next court appearance, for a bail hearing, will likely be scheduled within the next two weeks, Kelly said.
Kelly and Stewart praised the officers involved in the investigation on their quick work to locate the suspects and bring charges against them.
“We are very happy to have come to this conclusion in this investigation,” Kelly said.
The suspects were arraigned today about 5 p.m. in Third Division District Court on charges of Murder and Conspiracy.