*UPDATE* Human Remains Found in Vehicle Submerged for Nearly Two Decades

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902 S. Adams Street 
Versailles, IN 47042


FOR RELEASE: Upon Receipt


Sgt. Stephen Wheeles
Public Information Officer

October 19, 2021

*UPDATE* Human Remains Found in Vehicle Submerged for Nearly Two Decades

Yesterday, October 18, 2021, anthropologists with the University of Indianapolis along with Indiana State Police Investigators examined the 1997 Nissan Pathfinder that was pulled out of the Ohio River on Thursday, October 14, 2021 near Lesko Park, Aurora, Indiana.

The vehicle was confirmed to have belonged to Stephanie Van Nguyen, age 26, who disappeared in April 2002 along with her two children, Kristina, age 4, and John, age 3.  At the time, investigators with the Delhi Township Police Department, Ohio obtained information that Nguyen had left a note prior to her disappearance that state she would drive her vehicle into the Ohio River. 

With the use of side sonar scan technology, divers with the Hamilton County, Ohio Police Association and Indiana Conservation Officers located and recovered the vehicle last week.  The Indiana State Police began an investigation when the vehicle was located.

Anthropologists believe a bone recovered in the vehicle yesterday is a human bone.  The bone will be sent to a lab for testing in an attempt to determine the origin. 

The investigation is ongoing.

 *See Original Release Issued on October 15, 2021 below.* 

Indiana State Police Assisting Ohio Police in Investigating Missing Person Case from Two Decades Earlier

Yesterday, October 14, 2021, Detectives from the Indiana State Police-Versailles Post began a missing person investigation after a vehicle connected to a 2002 missing person investigation from Delhi Township, Ohio was located in the Ohio River near Aurora, Indiana.

In April 2002, the Delhi Township Police Department began investigating the disappearance of  Stephanie Van Nguyen, age 26, and her two children, Kristina, age 4, and John, age 3.  Nguyen was last known to be driving her 1997 Nissan Pathfinder.  Information gathered at the time indicated that Nguyen left a note that she was going to drive into the Ohio River however, her vehicle was not located at the time.

The Delhi Township Police Department began looking into the case again recently.  A thorough search of the river using side sonar scan technology led divers to locate a vehicle that matched the description of Nguyen’s vehicle.  The registration plate on the vehicle confirmed the vehicle belonged to Nguyen.

Dive teams from the Hamilton County Police Association and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources with the assistance of Schaffer’s Towing worked to bring the vehicle to the surface.  The vehicle was located at a depth of over 50 feet and was approximately 300 feet from the bank of the river.

The vehicle was transported to a secure location where Indiana State Police Investigators will examine the vehicle to determine if Nguyen or her two children were in the vehicle.

The Indiana State Police and Delhi Township Police Departments were assisted at the scene by the Hamilton County Police Association Dive Team, Indiana Conservation Officers, Aurora Police Department, Dearborn County Sheriff’s Department, Aurora Fire Department and EMS, Dearborn County Coroner’s Office, and Schaffer’s Towing.

-30-                                         SGT. STEPHEN WHEELES

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