After Winning at Keno, Fernando Silva Paid the Ultimate Price — Were His Killers Ever Caught?

The family of Fernando Silva were satisfied that his killers got exactly what they deserved.

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

Jun. 28 2024, Published 7:04 p.m. ET

The family of Fernando Silva, who was known as Captain Freddy, were desperate to find him. When they finally reached out to police in August 2015, no one had heard from Silva in about a week. This wasn't too unusual, even for a man who loved spending time out on the waters off the coast of Warwick, R.I., where cell service could be spotty. Still, his family was concerned.

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His sister, Dolly Packard, told Oxygen that Silva had promised his son Kenny he would help him paint his house. Silva always kept his promises, especially when it came to family. When his dad didn't show up, Kenny assumed he was busy. Again, no one was worried quite yet: "We knew, eventually, he would always get in touch with us." Sadly Silva never did and eventually two men were arrested for his murder. Where are Richard Baribault and Troy Gunderway now?

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Where are Richard Baribault and Troy Gunderway now?

A little over two years after Silva's murder, Baribault and Gunderway were both handed down separate sentences for the crime, per a press release on Gunderway's trial was first, and ended in March 2017 with a guilty conviction for "one count of second degree murder and one count of conspiracy to commit robbery." He was later sentenced to 55 years in prison, 35 of which would be spent incarcerated while the remaining 20 would be under supervised probation.

In June 2017, Baribault's trial also ended with a guilty conviction but his sentence was significantly worse. A Kent County Superior Court jury found him guilty of "first degree murder, conspiracy, possession of a knife over three inches, receiving stolen property, and operating on a suspended license." For these crimes he got life plus 10 years.

What could have possibly caused these two men to take the life of another? Sadly, not much.

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What happened to Fernando Silva?

Silva was having a great night on the evening of July 31, 2015, reported The Providence Journal, when he won several hundred dollars playing keno. The 70 year-old Vietnam vet was loved by everyone and had a trusting personality that was hard to come by. That night, two people took advantage of it.

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The night he won the money, Silva was sleeping soundly on his boat when Baribault and Gunderway crept on with the intent of robbing him. When Silva woke up to find the two men going through his things, Baribault punched him while Gunderway put him in a headlock. Frustrated, Baribault demanded Silva tell him where the keno winnings were while Gunderway held a pocket knife up to his throat. Soon, they were kicking and punching him until he wasn't moving. They left him for dead.

A few days later on Aug. 4, a storm caused the boat to drift out again but it was quickly secured by Warwick Harbormaster Jeff Barris, who discovered Silva's body a week later. It was the smell that did it. Between the time of Silva's murder and the discovery of his body, Baribault and Gunderway returned to the boat more than a dozen times in order to clean it. During Baribault's trial, the judge played his Google Voice search. "Does bleach kill everything, including skin cells," he was heard asking.

Baribault said Gunderway was solely responsible. He told the court that he tried to stop his friend, and attempted to save Silva. Gunderway, on the other hand, pled guilty. At their sentencing, Silva's sister Amelia Costa said they were happy with what the two men were getting. "Now the family can rest in peace," she said.

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