It was an early Saturday morning on January 21st, 1984 when nineteen year old Vernon Lomba Jr. was found dead in a snowbank by the side of the road on Elmwood Avenue in Cranston. He was last seen by his mother on Friday and was headed to a bar named the “Sunburst Lounge” which was located on Elmwood Avenue. At first, Cranston police thought he was a victim of a hit and run incident from a motor vehicle due to a metal antennae from a vehicle found nearby. However, an autopsy though would reveal the true manner and cause of death , Lomba had been brutally beaten to death. He expired from a blood clot due to being struck on the head and jaw. Police also took note that when he left his mother’s apartment he had over three hundred dollars in his wallet. When his body was found, most of that money was missing.
Cranston Police theorize that Lomba may have been a victim of a robbery. It is possible that someone noticed he had some substantial money at the bar and ambushed him outside as he walked home alone. Lomba’s sisters and family are not sure if robbery is the motive for their brother’s murder though. They think it was a personal confrontation. The Sunburst Lounge is long gone and has been replaced with a bowling alley. For Vernon Lomba’s family, nothing can replace him. Someone knows a dark secret about what happened. Please call the Cranston Police Department if you have any information about this murder. They can be reached at (401) 477-5000.