What’s the logical thing to do if you get into a dispute with your wife?
If you’re Lam Luong, you toss your four young children off a bridge to their apparent deaths.
Luong, angered after a tiff with his wife confessed to the deed authorities said Wednesay as they searched the dark, swirling waters for the children’s bodies.
Lam Luong, 37, who is charged with four counts of capital murder, told authorities Tuesday night that he drove to the Dauphin Island bridge and dropped the children from a span that reaches 80 feet in places, said Detective Scott Rivera.
Luong came to coastal Alabama from Vietnam in 1984 and worked in the commercial fishing industry as a shrimper, Police Chief John Joyner and a relative said. He had argued with his wife, Ngoc Phan, before taking the children, he said.
The missing and presumed dead children:
4-month-old Danny Luong;
1-year-old Lindsey Luong;
2-year-old Hannah Luong;
3-year-old Ryan Phan.
Although Phan is not the man’s biological child, he met the same fate as Luong’s own children. Phan was raised by Luong from infancy, authorities said.
Authorities were searching a 100-square-mile area and waters as deep as 55 feet. The search included divers and cadaver dogs in small boats, as well as three helicopters, Mobile County Sheriff Sam Cochran said.
Joyner said he feared the search of the Intracoastal Waterway below the bridge would be hampered by bad weather and choppy waters. The bridge extends from the mainland to Dauphin Island, which lies between the waterway and the Gulf of Mexico.
Authorities have been able to assemble some details about Luong, his family and their living arrangements in the short period of time from interviewing friends, neighbors and surviving family members.
The couple lived with Phan’s mother at Bayou La Batre, a fishing village with a large Southeast Asian community. Phan’s brother-in-law Kam Phengsisomboun, who is from Thailand, said the couple moved back to the area from Hinesville, Ga., only a couple of weeks ago.
They argued Sunday night and again Monday, he said. Luong left the home with two of the children, then later came back for the other two, he said.
Luong’s drug habits quickly became the focus of the investigators. Apparently, they were well-known in the community and information was not hard to procure.
The family initially feared the children had been traded to support a drug habit, Phengsisomboun said. Luong had a crack cocaine habit and had spent an insurance settlement from an automobile accident rapidly, he said, and authorities confirmed Luong had a history of drug offenses.
Luong reported the children missing Monday, and told police that a woman who had the children failed to return them, authorities said. Phengsisomboun said he was later told by investigators that a witness had seen someone throw a bundle from the bridge and then saw three children in a nearby car.
Phan, 23, was in seclusion Wednesday morning at her mother’s brick home, the front porch cluttered with children’s shoes.
The stories, no doubt, in the coming days will be about Lam Luong, drug user.
But millions of people use various drugs of various kinds. How many threw four young children off a bridge to their certain deaths?
This story is not about Lam Luong, drug user: though there will be no end of unimaginative accounts which will pursue that angle.
This story is about Lam Luong, human being who was broken. Something prevents most people from resolving marital disputes by murdering four young children.
Lam Luong achieves his 15 minute of infamy by murdering four young children.
Hopefully, he’ll only get a few more minutes in the spotlight–and that will be about his trial, conviction and punishment for this heinous crime.