Bones found in missing woman’s car

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A DNA analysis confirmed that a bone found in an SUV removed last year from the Ohio River in Indiana is from a woman who disappeared in 2002 along with her two young children, authorities said Tuesday.

Dearborn County Coroner Cameron McCreary confirmed Friday that the bone belonged to Stephanie Van Nguyen, who was 26 when she disappeared with her 4-year-old daughter, Kristina; and their 3-year-old son, John, Indiana State Police said.

Van Nguyen, a resident of Delhi Township in southwestern Ohio, left a note in April 2002 saying he was going to drive into the Ohio River, but the vehicle was not located at the time, police said.

The 1997 Nissan Pathfinder was found in October submerged in the river near Aurora in southeastern Indiana, and a search of the vehicle led to the discovery of a bone, thought to be human.

The fibula was taken by Krista Latham and her team from the University of Indianapolis division of anthropology for analysis in their lab before being transferred to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations for further analysis.

The researchers were able to obtain mitochondrial DNA from the bone that allowed them to identify it as belonging to Nguyen, McCreary said. He added that as no other human remains were found in the vehicle, Nguyen’s children will continue to be listed as a missing persons case unless the remains are located or the family requests in the courts that they be declared legally dead.

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