Murder of Fernando Silva by Richard Baribault and Troy Gunderway examined on Deadly Waters With Captain Lee

Police tape

Deadly Waters With Captain Lee is investigating the murder of Fernando Silva, aka Captain Fredy, who was beaten to death by Richard Baribault and Troy Gunderway in Warwick, Rhode Island.

In August 2015, Warwick’s Chief Harbormaster, Jeffrey Baris, came across a twenty-six-foot sailboat that appeared to be adrift. Baris towed the boat back to a mooring and tied it up. Unknown to Baris at the time, the boat was the home of 70-year-old Silva, known affectionately in the community as Captain Fredy (sometimes spelled as Freddy).

A couple of weeks later, Baris boarded the boat to check that it was still secure. He noticed a strong, foul odor and “considerable insect activity.” The harbormaster searched the vessel and came across the maggot-infested remains of Captain Fredy. He had been beaten to death.

A resident whose home overlooked the harbor told the police they had seen two men working on Captain Fredy’s boat several times in the last two weeks. The investigators identified Troy Gunderway as one of those men.

Gunderway told the detectives that he had worked on the boat for Captain Fredy. He also led them to Richard Baribault, who was subsequently arrested after he was discovered driving without a valid license. He was also found carrying a style of knife that is banned in Rhode Island.

The police slowly pieced together what happened. On July 31, Captain Fredy had won several hundred dollars playing a lottery, and Baribault and Gunderway decided to steal the money.

Richard Baribault and Troy Gunderway attacked Captain Fredy as he slept in his boat

Captain Fredy was sleeping on the boat when the two killers boarded the vessel and attacked him. Baribault, a former boxer, repeatedly struck Fredy in the face.

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Gunderway held the 70-year-old in a headlock while Baribault searched the boat for the money. They also threatened Fredy with a knife, demanding to know where he kept the money. Eventually, Captain Fredy died from blunt force trauma.

The two killers made several attempts to clean and move the boat over the next couple of weeks. They eventually abandoned the boat at a scenic overlook area of Warwick Cove. They then decided to return to the boat, but by that time, Harbormaster Baris had moved it, and the body was soon discovered.

Richard Baribault and Troy Gunderway given lengthy sentences for killing Fernando Silva, aka Captain Fredy

Gunderway pleaded guilty to his role in the murder and agreed to testify against Baribault. He was sentenced to 35 years for murder and a further ten for conspiracy.

Baribault continued to insist he was innocent but was convicted by a jury. He was given a life sentence. Justice Brian Stern told the killer, “Today is about actions and consequences. Today is about justice for Fernando Silva, the man that you murdered.”

At the sentencing, Captain Fredy’s son said of his father, “He braved the rough seas and storms many times, but unfortunately and unbelievable, after all of his travails at sea, it’s while his boat is safely docked that the greatest danger came to him.”

Deadly Waters With Captain Lee airs Saturday at 9/8c on Oxygen.

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