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SUV of Ohio Mom, 2 Kids Missing Since 2002 Found in River

A police car in a file photo. (Mira Oberman/AFP/Getty Images)

A police car in a file photo. (Mira Oberman/AFP/Getty Images)

AURORA, Ind.—Search crews pulled from the Ohio River in Indiana an SUV that belonged to an Ohio mother missing since 2002 along with her two young children, authorities said Friday.

Side sonar scan technology led divers to the 1997 Nissan Pathfinder Thursday near Aurora in southeastern Indiana, Indiana State Police said Friday in a news release. The vehicle was registered to Stephanie Van Nguyen, who in 2002 disappeared with her 4-year-old daughter, Kristina, and 3-year-old son, John.

Van Nguyen, then 26, left a note that she was going to drive into the Ohio River, but her vehicle was not located at the time, police said.

Delhi Township, Ohio, police Lt. Joe Macaluso told reporters Thursday that it was too early to tell if any bodies were in the SUV.

Searchers found the vehicle more than 50 feet below the river’s surface and about 300 feet from the riverbank

The search was part of an investigation into the family’s disappearance that police in Delhi Township reopened about six months ago.

Macaluso said sonar scans of the river last week found three submerged vehicles.

“This has been a case we’ve actively pursued for many years. We did a cold case on it because of the anniversary. I’m happy for the family that we’ll be able to, hopefully, give some closure,” Macaluso said.

The Associated Press

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