Seventeen year old Hang Lee was a quiet girl. She loved to read and was an aspiring writer. She had a distinct style and black hair with dyed red bangs. She was also very petite, standing at 5”0 and weighing 90lbs. Hang attended Highland Park High school in Minnesota, where she was a senior, and lived with her parents, who were both refugees and Laos natives.
One evening, on the 12th of January 1993, between 6 :00 and 7:00pm, Hang left the family apartment with a friend, 18 year old Kia Lee (Also known as “Nikki” to friends)
Dressed in her Skid Row T-Shirt, black leather jacket, black jeans and sneakers, she told her brother, Koua, in passing “If I don’t come back, look for me, I don’t trust Kia” and with that she left.
She was never seen again.
Despite language difficulties, Hangs parents were able to file a missing persons report a few days later.
The missing teen had left everything she owned behind, including her college savings and most recent paycheck of $100. She also let behind her bag, in which she usually carried various items for protection, such as a small knife.
Kia was questioned during the investigation into Hang Lees disappearance and changed her story multiple times.
When first questioned she claimed that Hang had left with a group of men, before changing her story and telling police that she had fixed Hang up with a job interview with her employer.
Kia’s employer was a man named Mark Steven Wallace, he was 30 years of age at the time, and he owned a painting and decorating business.
Kia claimed that Wallace was to have dropped Hang Lee off outside of “Wong’s Café”, a place where Hang worked as a cashier, just off Rice Street and Wheelock parkway. The Café still stands there to this day.
The last time Kia claimed to see Hang, was when she herself had been dropped off at a gas station, and watched Hang climb from the back seat into the passenger seat of Wallace's car as he pulled away. According to Kia, Wallace had attempted to take both the girls to a casino that night, but they rejected the offer as it was snowing and they had school the next day.
Wallace had originally been driving a white pick-up, but for reasons unknown had switched to a Chevrolet Cavalier before dropping the girls off.
He was a convicted sex offender; with two violent rapes on his record from the late eighties and was suspected of more. He had gotten out of prison just a year and a half prior to disappearance of Hang. In fact, in one of the crimes he was convicted for, was that he had raped a woman at knife point after offering a ride in his car as she stood at a bus stop, and he had also lured another victim with the promise of a job. This information, and the fact that he was apparently the last person to see Hang alive, made him the prime suspect.
He was never charged with the crime.
Following the accusation he hired an attorney and refused to be cooperative with police during the investigation.
In 2009 Police did finally search Wallace’s old home in search of evidence, including drilling up the concrete garage floor after the three cadaver dogs they brought along showed an interest in the area, but didn’t turn up anything.
The disappearance of Hang Lee is still a mystery to this day.
If you have any information, please do not hesitate to contact the St. Paul Police department on 651-266-5612
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