Details of Disappearance Hang was last seen leaving her family's residence in St. Paul, Minnesota on January 12, 1993. She left home between 6:00 and 7:00 p.m. with an eighteen-year-old friend, Kia "Nikki" Lee (no apparent relation). Kia returned home shortly alone afterwards.
Hang's parents, who are refugees from Laos and did not speak English at the time, reported her as a missing person to authorities a few days later. She left behind all her clothing, her college savings, a $100 paycheck and her purse, which contained a knife and a lead ball for personal protection. Just prior to leaving home, she had told her younger brother, "If I don't come back, come and look for me."
Nikki initially told authorities Hang had left with some unidentified young men. She later changed her story and said Hang had gone to a job interview with Nikki's own employer, Mark Steven Wallace, at Wallace's small painting and carpentry business on Iroquois Avenue.
Wallace had asked her if she had any friends who might want to work for him, and she referred Hang to him because Hang was looking for a new job, but she thought his request was odd because he didn't have enough work to take on another employee.
She said she had lied earlier because she believed Hang had run away and wanted to protect her, and also because her boss had told her not to tell anyone what really happened.
Nikki stated she and Hang had gone to meet Wallace together. He was driving a white pickup truck at first, but later, for unclear reasons, he switched to a tan or silver 1988 Chevrolet Cavalier. He dropped Nikki off and drove away with Hang in the front passenger seat of the Chevrolet.
This is the last time Nikki saw Hang. He was supposed to take her home; he later told police he dropped her off at Rice Street and Wheelock Parkway, near the Wong Cafe where she worked.
Wallace is the prime suspect in Hang's disappearance; he has been convicted of two particularly violent rapes committed in 1987 and is also a suspect in other sex crimes. He had lured one of his victims by promising a job interview. He has been uncooperative with the investigation into Hang's disappearance and has hired a lawyer. Nikki has also hired an attorney and stopped cooperating with police.
Wallace has never been charged in connection with Hang's disappearance. Investigators searched his former home in 2009 and drilled holes in his garage floor, but they didn't find any evidence. In 2016, he was charged with kidnapping, stalking and possession of methamphetamine. He was caught in a hotel in Woodbury, Minnesota with a 20-year-old woman, the friend of one of his daughter.
The woman was malnourished and bruised, and said Wallace had held her against her will, verbally and physically abused her and had threatened her life. The woman also said Wallace told her he had killed a woman in St. Paul, telling her, "She entered my business and never came out." A photo of Wallace is posted with this case summary.
Hang is described as a sweet, naive teenager. She wanted to become a writer and enjoyed reading at the time of her disappearance. She was a senior in high school and planned to attend the University of Minnesota after graduating.
Hang's case remains unsolved. Her father died in 2012, but her mother and thirteen siblings are all still alive and hope she will come home. Foul play is suspected in her disappearance.
- St. Paul Police Department
Updated 6 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated October 26, 2021; age-progression updated.