*UPDATE* Human Remains Recovered from Vehicle Submerged for Nearly Two Decades Positively Identified

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902 S. Adams Street 
Versailles, IN 47042


FOR RELEASE: Upon Receipt


Sgt. Stephen Wheeles
Public Information Officer

January 11, 2022


*UPDATE* Human Remains Recovered from Vehicle Submerged for Nearly Two Decades Positively Identified

On Friday, January 7, 2022, Dearborn County Coroner Cameron McCreary received confirmation that the human remains recovered from a vehicle submerged in the Ohio River for nearly two decades belong to Stephanie Van Nguyen.

Nguyen and her two children disappeared in April 2002 in her 1997 Nissan Pathfinder.  A renewed search led to the discovery of Nguyen's vehicle in the Ohio River near Lesko Park in Aurora, Indiana in October 2021. After the vehicle was removed from the river, anthropologists from the University of Indianapolis assisted investigators in searching the vehicle for human remains. 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.

The investigation is being conducted by Detectives with the Indiana State Police-Versailles Post and Delhi Township, Ohio Police Department with the assistance of numerous other agencies.

Attached:   -Coroner Cameron McCreary's News Release

                   -Photos of the recovery efforts and recovered vehicle

Dearborn County Coroner Press Release.pdf

*See Original Release from 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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