$100K reward in Rebong killing

It is one of New England’s most intriguing cold cases.

It’s been 11 years since Connecticut hotel employee Mark Rebong was killed by a bullet while driving to his office at the Danbury Hilton, and police have nothing to show but a couple of improbable theories.

Mark would have been 39 today.

“We may never know why Mark was taken away so early in life, so full of promise, but eventually we shall understand,” writes family friend Virgilio Gonzales in a letter to the editor at the News-Times, a Danbury daily.

According to police reports, Mark was shot January 17, 2000 as he was driving from his home in Newtown to the Hilton Hotel where he worked as the night auditor. He was shot sometime between 10:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. He was driving a 1999 model black Jeep Cherokee. As he was entering the exit ramp, he was “fatally shot.”

The shooting has baffled police to this day. One, Mark was not involved in any traffic altercation; two, he had no enemies; and three, he did not do drugs. Possible theories of road rage, vengeance or drug-related homicide, while still under investigation, do not seem to hold up.

There is now a $100,000 reward being offered for any information that may lead to an arrest, half the amount coming from Mark’s family and friends.

Mark’s parents Efren and Anita remembered the day vividly. It was Martin Luther King Day. Mark left the house before 10:25 p.m. to go to work. It would have been a short 20-minute drive to the Hilton.

The Hilton hotel where Mark worked as night auditor

More than an hour later, the couple got a call from the Danbury Hospital saying Mark had been in an accident and was rushed to the emergency room. He died the following day.

“How do these people sleep at night?” Efren said in an interview with the News-Times, voicing his muted anger at the senseless shooting?

Forensics concluded it was just one bullet and possibly two snipers. For how can a sure shot such as the one that felled Mark be executed from a fast moving vehicle?

Reports the News-Times: “The bullet shattered the driver’s side window of the Jeep and hit Rebong in the back of the head, sending metal fragments into his brain. Involuntarily, the muscles on his left side tightened, and the Jeep veered briefly.

“As the damaged tissue swelled, the Jeep slowed, veered back to the right, and came to rest against the fence of the commuter parking lot. There it sat until about 11 p.m., when a passing motorist spotted it and called 911.”

The Rebongs and their sons Mark and Renan came to the U.S. in 1973. Mark went to St. Rose School in Newtown for his elementary education, Wooster Schoolin Danbury for high school, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where he earned a business degree. He played the piano.

“It seems only yesterday that we visited the Rebongs in Newtown, sat down at table with them, enjoyed Anita’s cooking for she is a wonderful cook, and saw Mark and my son Arsenio talking about their jobs,” writes Gonzales, the family friend. “Mark had just finished his MBA. The future looked bright for him.”

He continues: We hope that someone, somewhere might have an attack of conscience, a remorse for what he did and make a clean break of it. It is not too late to ask for forgiveness.”

Mark’s organs were donated to waitlisted patients. In his letter, Gonzales finds a bit of levity that the recipient of Mark’s heart is reported to have developed a new craving for lobster.

“Filipinos love lobster,” he writes. “Our family celebrates birthdays with steamed lobster and jokingly call ourselves the Lobster Family. Perhaps the Rebongs feel the same way. There is some truth to the saying, ‘We are what we eat.’”

If you have any information that could help the police, please call the Connecticut State Police Western District Major Crime Squad on 800-376-1554 or 203-267-2200. All calls are confidential.


  1. Daniel Tan wrote:

    Keep up the quality posts

  2. Kurt Dagel wrote:

    Really good article. I must say i wait for updates of your posts.

  3. Jerry C. Bautista wrote:

    Very well written article. I hope they find the killer soon.

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