Bodies of 2 children allegedly thrown from bridge are found

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

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The Dauphin Island Bridge.

The bodies of two of the four Alabama children allegedly thrown off a bridge by their father have been found. On Saturday, Danny Luong, the youngest of the children at four months old, was discovered by a duck hunter in a marshy area near Bayou la Batre, about 5 miles west of the 80 foot high Dauphin Island Bridge. A second child, 3-year-old Ryan Phan, was found near Barton Bay by a search and rescue team today at 10:30 am local time. Barton Bay is about 10 miles northwest of the bridge.

The father, Lam Luong, a 37 year old shrimp fisherman, has been charged with four counts of capital murder. If convicted, he faces either the death penalty or life imprisonment without parole.

"The inevitable nightmare we have feared has now been confirmed. We believe, certainly now, that the father of these children threw these children off the Dauphin Island bridge," Mobile County sheriff Sam Cochran said on Saturday.

Luong and his wife, Kieu Ngoc Phan, reported the children missing on Monday. When questioned, Luong claimed responsibility for the act, saying that he threw the children into the river after an argument with his wife. However, he later retracted his confession, instead claiming that two women, one of whom is named "Kim", took the children and drove off in a van.

Kieu Ngoc Phan was informed of the body's discovery on Saturday. "Why didn't he kill me instead of the children? It's too much hurting," Phan said through an interpreter while weeping. She was being comforted by an associate pastor from a Vietnamese church.

According to the family, Luong called from jail and told them he wanted to be "more famous than the 9/11 hijackers" and that he "wasn't afraid of the electric chair".

The search continues for the other two children - Hannah Luong, 2, and Lindsey Luong, 1. The search area has been expanded across the state border towards Pascagoula, Mississippi, as authorities believe the strong currents may have moved the bodies westward. Mobile County Commissioner Steve Nodine reports that the search is costing an estimated $100,000 per day.


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