Human Bone ID'd As Ohio Woman Who Disappeared With Her 2 Children In 2002

Photo: Delhi Township Police Department

Authorities have confirmed that a bone found in the Ohio River belonged to a woman who disappeared nearly 20 years ago

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation Laboratory confirmed that the human remains that were uncovered in a submerged vehicle were those of Stephanie Van Nguyen. Nguyen was 26 when she disappeared in her 1997 Nissan Pathfinder with her two young children — Kristina, 4, and John, 3 — in April 2002.

Ohio-based Delhi Township police previously stated that Nguyen “left a note that she was going to drive into the Ohio River.” But the case grew cold, despite a “lengthy” investigation. The agency stated on Monday (January 10) that “no remains were found from the children; therefore, they will remain in the national database for missing persons.”

It wasn’t until October 2021 that dive teams from Hamilton County Police Association and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources were called to the Ohio River, where teams found “three unique objects in the water…that looked promising.” The Delhi Township Police Department and the Indiana State Police renewed efforts to determine whether Nguyen and her children were in the vehicle.

“After the vehicle was removed from the river, anthropologists from the University of Indianapolis assisted investigators in searching the vehicle for human remains,” the Indiana State Police stated in a press release. “One bone, believed to be a human bone, was recovered from the vehicle and sent to a laboratory for further investigation. The testing, which was completed by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations Laboratory, confirmed that the bone belonged to Stephanie Van Nguyen.”

Indiana State Police-Versailles Post and the Delhi Township Police Department are investigating.

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