Court documents have revealed new details in the Grafton homicide case that occurred nearly seven months ago. Laeng Sanavongsay, 49, was found dead on March 4, 2023, with a gunshot wound to the head in a vehicle. Last week, Miguel Aponte, 34, was arrested and charged in connection to the homicide.
Aponte is facing charges of first-degree intentional homicide (as a party to a crime, use of a dangerous weapon), false imprisonment, attempting to disfigure a corpse, and felony bail jumping. The victim, Sanavongsay, was discovered with tape around his mouth, blood coming from his head, broken ribs, and ligature marks on his wrists.
The investigation revealed that Sanavongsay flew from Texas to Chicago International Airport on March 3. He then picked up a rental vehicle and traveled north towards Milwaukee. His phone’s last outgoing call was made in the area of I-43 and Capitol Drive at around 6:30 p.m. Later that evening, the phone traveled to the Third Ward and then to New Berlin before returning to the area of I-43 and Capitol. The phone disappeared from the network at 10:07 p.m.
Cell tower data obtained by the Ozaukee County Sheriff’s Office showed that a device associated with Aponte’s ex-partner, who lives in New Berlin, was present in several areas consistent with the movement of Sanavongsay’s phone and vehicle on March 3. DNA obtained from the victim’s rental car also matched Aponte’s DNA.
During an interview with detectives, Aponte initially denied knowing Sanavongsay but later admitted to being with him and others on the night of the homicide. However, he denied being present for the actual killing and denied ever being in Sanavongsay’s vehicle.
Aponte’s bond has been set at $750,000, and he is scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing on November 13. The victim, Sanavongsay, had no ties to Ozaukee County, and the sheriff’s office believes the incident was targeted.