Remains recovered from vehicle submerged in Ohio River for nearly 2 decades identified

Indiana

DEARBORN COUNTY, Ind. — Officials have positively identified human remains recovered from a vehicle submerged in the Ohio River for nearly two decades.

Dearborn County Coroner Cameron McCreary confirmed the remains belong to Stephanie Van Nguyen who went missing in 2002. Nguyen and her two children, Kristina, age 4, and John, age 3, were last seen in her 1997 Nissan Pathfinder.

In October 2021, the vehicle was discovered in the Ohio River near Lesko Park in Aurora, Indiana. Anthropologists from the University of Indianapolis recovered one bone from the vehicle and sent it to a laboratory for further investigation.

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations Laboratory did testing and confirmed the bone belonged to Stephanie Van Nguyen.

According to the coroner, Nguyen was reported missing in April of 2002 after a note was found indicating she was intending to take her own life as well as her children’s lives.

Since only Nguyen’s remains were found, the children will still be listed as missing persons unless remains are located, or the family files to have them declared legally deceased.

Coroner Cameron McCreary says there are plans to dive for more remains once it gets warmer.

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.

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