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Authorities Reopen ‘Most Disturbing Cold Case’ Of 5-Year-Old Found Dead At US Army Base
Anne Sang Thi Pham was walking to her kindergarten class in 1982 when someone abducted her from Seaside, California. Her body was found on a military base two days later.
Police in California are reopening the 40-year-old case of a child found brutally murdered at a former U.S. Army post.
Anne Sang Thi Pham was just 5 years-old when someone abducted her on her way to school, according to the Monterey Herald. On Jan. 21, 1982, the child insisted on walking by herself to her kindergarten class at the nearby Highland School while her mother stayed home. Her family lived only a few blocks away from her elementary school, according to police.
Army investigators found her body in the brush two days later at Fort Ord, a U.S. Army post (which was eventually closed in 1994). She had been assaulted and strangled to death, according to police.
Over the years, many agencies — including the U.S. Army’s Criminal Investigations Division — tried to solve the case, but it eventually went cold, according to the Herald.
But Seaside police are now working with the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office Cold Case Task Force to find answers — four decades later.
“This is one of the most disturbing cold cases we’ve had,” acting Seaside Police Chief Nicholas Borges told the Herald. “Going through all our files, it’s clear there is a monster involved.”
“New leads have surfaced in recent time, and the case has officially been reopened,” police said in Wednesday’s release. According to the Herald, the cold case task force received a $500,000 grant to investigate unsolved cases, including Anne Sang’s.
“While I can’t get into specifics, there is a lot of evidence, and I am hopeful we can bring justice for that beautiful little angel,” Chief Borges told the Herald.
Deputy District Attorney Matthew L’Heureux, who heads the task force, also didn’t specify which new leads prompted a renewal of Anne Sang’s case but stated, “DNA is something we look for in any case,” when asked by the Herald.
Anne Sang, the daughter of Vietnamese refugees, was born in the United States after her parents fled their home country when the North Vietnamese invaded South Vietnam in 1975, according to a Monterey Herald archive. Her father, Tuong Van Pham, became a herring fisherman.
Both of Anne Sang’s parents have since passed away, though authorities have notified her surviving siblings about the recent updates, according to the Herald.
According to police, Anne Sang was one of 10 children, and was described as a “shy” and “sensitive” little girl.
“Anne, we have not forgotten you,” Seaside Police wrote on their Facebook page. “And we are working hard to bring you justice.”
“We have quite a bit of evidence that existed from the onset of the case,” said Borges. “I want to solve every cold case we have. There is nothing more rewarding than giving the family a sense of justice by being able to tell them, ‘Here is the person who killed your loved one.’”
Anyone with information about Anne Sang Thi Pham’s murder is asked to contact acting Chief Borges at 831-899-6892 or the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office at 831-755-5267.