WRTV: Coroner: Bone found in missing SUV

UC forensic anthropologist explains how a single bone might solve missing persons case

In mid-October, a single bone was found when police located a submerged SUV in the Ohio river in Dearborn County, Indiana. The bone might belong to Stephanie Nguyen, who went missing nearly 20 years ago, along with her two children.

“I wouldn't expect the bone to be dissolved or anything after 20 years in water," says Cheryl Johnston, a forensic anthropologist in UC’s Department of Anthropology.

Johnston, who is not involved in the investigation, says it's unclear whether the bone could still contain DNA, but the chances are favorable given the region’s environmental elements and the location of the vehicle on the Ohio/Indiana border.

 "In Ohio we have pretty good preservation because of the soil chemistry here," Johnston said.

The WRTV interview first appeared on local WCPO and was syndicated regionally.

Watch Johnston interview.

Featured image at top of Ohio River. Photo/Schlabach/Unsplash.

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