Stephanie Van Nguyen, 26, and her two young children, Kristina, 4, and John, 3, went missing in 2002 from Delhi, Ohio, police said Friday in a statement on Facebook. Delhi is a suburb of Cincinnati.
Nguyen was traveling in a green 1997 Nissan Pathfinder with an Ohio license plate, according to a missing person's report with the Ohio Attorney General's Office.
"Nguyen left a note that she was going to drive into the Ohio River," police said. The case was investigated, but ultimately went cold.
In 2021, Delhi Police took a fresh look at the case, making use of advancements in sonar technology. They were assisted by the Hamilton County Police Association Dive Team and Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
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For six months they scanned the Ohio river for clues, and found "three unique objects" last week, police said.
Authorities investigated further, confirming on Wednesday the discovery of Van Nguyen's vehicle submerged in the Ohio River in Aurora, Indiana. Aurora is roughly 24 miles west of Delhi.
Authorities will now work to determine if the family was in the vehicle, police said.