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Wednesday, December 11, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Body found Jan. 30 in Spokane River at Upriver Dam confirmed to be 24-year-old woman missing since December

UPDATED: Wed., Feb. 27, 2019

Loc Nguyen was reported missing in December. Her family says she never returned home from work. Her body was discovered Jan. 30, 2019 at the Upriver Dam on the Spokane River. (Spokane County Sheriff’s Office / Courtesy photo)
Loc Nguyen was reported missing in December. Her family says she never returned home from work. Her body was discovered Jan. 30, 2019 at the Upriver Dam on the Spokane River. (Spokane County Sheriff’s Office / Courtesy photo)

A body discovered Jan. 30 in the Spokane River at Upriver Dam was confirmed to be Loc Nguyen – a 24-year-old woman who has been missing since December.

Nguyen was reported missing by her family on Dec. 3 after she left work at Total Wine and More at the Northpointe Plaza shopping mall. She reportedly told them she would be home late, but never arrived.

Two days later, her phone was found near the Centennial Trail entrance off South Mirabeau Parkway in Spokane Valley – about 11 miles east of where her body was eventually located by dam workers. On the phone were three photos taken that night, one of Nguyen’s car and a hand, presumably hers, holding a bottle of alcohol. Metadata showed the picture was taken near PetSmart at the same plaza.

That same day, detectives found Nguyen’s Volkswagen in the parking lot near the trailhead. No keys were in the car’s ignition, and Nguyen’s purse and wallet had more than $100 in cash, court documents state. The bottle of alcohol she bought that night was also in the car and unopened. Detectives also found cat treats from PetSmart purchased that night.

The Spokane County Medical Examiner confirmed the identification Tuesday morning. A manner and cause of death is still pending.

Deputy Mark Gregory, spokesman for the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, said Monday that due to how long Nguyen was in the Spokane River, detectives had to await results of DNA testing for a positive identification.

He said Monday that when the body was recovered there were “no obvious signs of violence.”

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