Human remains found in car tied to Stephanie Van Nguyen, children

Human remains have been found inside of a vehicle tied to a 2002 missing persons case out of Delhi Township. Officials with Indiana State Police said Tuesday that human bones were found inside of a car removed from the Ohio River on Thursday.The vehicle was confirmed to have belonged to […]

Human remains have been found inside of a vehicle tied to a 2002 missing persons case out of Delhi Township. Officials with Indiana State Police said Tuesday that human bones were found inside of a car removed from the Ohio River on Thursday.The vehicle was confirmed to have belonged to Stephanie Van Nguyen, 26, who disappeared in April 2002 along with her two children, Kristina, 4, and John, 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.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.Police said Nguyen left a note in 2002 that she was going to drive into the Ohio River. A lengthy investigation began; however, police were never able to find the mother or her children and the case went cold.On Thursday, officials pulled a 1997 Nissan Pathfinder from the river about 300 feet from the riverbank near Aurora.”Just years of being underwater, it was in bad shape. So, it’s going to take a lot of time to determine if anyone was in there,” said Delhi Township police Lt. Joe Macaluso.More specifically, police will be looking for the remains of Stephanie Van Nguyen. She was 26 when she disappeared in 2002 with her two children.The last known person to see Nguyen alive was a Rising Sun police officer at 1:30 a.m. April 19, 2002. He told WLWT he issued her a warning for a minor traffic violation. Nguyen and the kids weren’t reported missing until days later.Retired Delhi Sgt. Bob Schwaeble was assigned the case in 2002. He said before Nguyen disappeared, she left a note for her parents along with a large amount of money and jewelry.”In this note, it said, ‘Use this money and jewelry to pay for the funeral for me and the children’ and ‘I’m going to drive into the Ohio River down by Grand Victoria,'” Schwaeble said.”There was always the theory of — was this somebody who just wanted to leave the family and make the illusion that she was going to harm herself and the children? Or was it just that, that she did that,” Macaluso said.Searches of the river back then ago were unsuccessful.Fast forward nearly 20 years, Delhi Township patrol Officer Heather Taylor asked if she could take a look at the case. She worked with detectives and that investigation led police back to the river, but in a different location that was previously searched and with better technology.”Side sonar scanning is much more advanced than it was,” Macaluso said. “We dove on some cars and dove on some objects to determine whether, in fact, it was our target vehicle, and yesterday we were successful.”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.”Windows were broken. The roof was almost completely gone, and the car was in really bad shape,” Macaluso said. “Right now, the vehicle is with Indiana state authorities, and we will work with them to determine whether the family is in the vehicle.”Investigators said Nguyen’s husband no longer lives in Ohio, but they have been in contact with him about the vehicle being found. They said her mother also moved out of state, and her father has since died.

Human remains have been found inside of a vehicle tied to a 2002 missing persons case out of Delhi Township.

Officials with Indiana State Police said Tuesday that human bones were found inside of a car removed from the Ohio River on Thursday.

The vehicle was confirmed to have belonged to Stephanie Van Nguyen, 26, who disappeared in April 2002 along with her two children, Kristina, 4, and John, 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.

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.

Police said Nguyen left a note in 2002 that she was going to drive into the Ohio River. A lengthy investigation began; however, police were never able to find the mother or her children and the case went cold.

On Thursday, officials pulled a 1997 Nissan Pathfinder from the river about 300 feet from the riverbank near Aurora.

“Just years of being underwater, it was in bad shape. So, it’s going to take a lot of time to determine if anyone was in there,” said Delhi Township police Lt. Joe Macaluso.

More specifically, police will be looking for the remains of Stephanie Van Nguyen. She was 26 when she disappeared in 2002 with her two children.

The last known person to see Nguyen alive was a Rising Sun police officer at 1:30 a.m. April 19, 2002. He told WLWT he issued her a warning for a minor traffic violation. Nguyen and the kids weren’t reported missing until days later.

Retired Delhi Sgt. Bob Schwaeble was assigned the case in 2002. He said before Nguyen disappeared, she left a note for her parents along with a large amount of money and jewelry.

“In this note, it said, ‘Use this money and jewelry to pay for the funeral for me and the children’ and ‘I’m going to drive into the Ohio River down by Grand Victoria,'” Schwaeble said.

“There was always the theory of — was this somebody who just wanted to leave the family and make the illusion that she was going to harm herself and the children? Or was it just that, that she did that,” Macaluso said.

Searches of the river back then ago were unsuccessful.

Fast forward nearly 20 years, Delhi Township patrol Officer Heather Taylor asked if she could take a look at the case. She worked with detectives and that investigation led police back to the river, but in a different location that was previously searched and with better technology.

“Side sonar scanning is much more advanced than it was,” Macaluso said. “We dove on some cars and dove on some objects to determine whether, in fact, it was our target vehicle, and yesterday we were successful.”

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.

“Windows were broken. The roof was almost completely gone, and the car was in really bad shape,” Macaluso said. “Right now, the vehicle is with Indiana state authorities, and we will work with them to determine whether the family is in the vehicle.”

Investigators said Nguyen’s husband no longer lives in Ohio, but they have been in contact with him about the vehicle being found. They said her mother also moved out of state, and her father has since died.

https://www.wlwt.com/article/human-remains-found-in-sunken-car-tied-to-missing-delhi-township-woman-children/38003932

Shaqil Heaton

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