© 2005 – 2018
Iowa Cold Cases
All Rights Reserved
If you'd like to reprint a post or case summary, please contact us with the name of the requested post/article. Thank you in advance!
On Monday, Sept. 22, 1997, Dung Kim Truong, a 37-year-old female Vietnamese legal alien authorized to work in the United States, left the Omaha home she shared with her boyfriend and went to the recently opened Ameristar riverboat casino across the Missouri River in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Shortly before 6:30 p.m. that evening (it is yet unknown how Truong got to the casino and whether she was employed by them) Truong used a phone at the casino to call her boyfriend and tell him she had a ride home. She then passed the phone to the man giving her a ride so Truong’s boyfriend could provide him with directions to the couple’s Omaha residence.
Casino security cameras captured Truong and an Asian man exiting the riverboat at approximately 6:30 p.m., but Truong never made it back to Omaha. When she failed to arrive home, she was reported to local authorities as missing.
Just over two months later on Thanksgiving Day evening, Nov. 27, 1997, a hunter discovered decomposed remains on public land near the Washta Access south of Washta, Iowa, in Ida County. Authorities believed the remains were that of a woman over age 30 and hoped to identify the victim through dental records.
The Washta Access, a 52-acre Ida County park with the Little Sioux River traversing through it, is located three miles south of Washta on Highway 31 in Ida County. Open year-round, the park features a concrete boat ramp with easy access to the Inkapaduta Canoe Trail on the river. The park also features river and stream fishing, native prairie and native timber.
By Dec. 2, 1997, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) had identified the remains as Dung Kim Truong.
Though officials did not publicly release the cause of death, newspapers across Iowa reported that an unidentified Asian male was being sought for questioning in Truong’s death. The DCI stated that the Asian male was not considered a suspect at the time but they believed he may have important information about the case.
Investigators with the DCI also believed the man sought for questioning may have been from the Sioux City, Iowa, area. Sioux City is located 94 miles north of Council Bluffs along Interstate 29 in Woodbury County.
When the Iowa DCI established a Cold Case Unit in 2009, Truong’s murder was one of approximately 150 cases listed on the Cold Case Unit’s new website as those the DCI hoped to solve using latest advancements in DNA technology.
Although federal grant funding for the Cold Case Unit was exhausted in December 2011, the DCI continues to assign agents to investigate cold cases as new leads develop or as technological advances allow for additional forensic testing of original evidence.
The DCI remains committed to resolving Iowa’s cold cases and will continue to work diligently with local law enforcement partners to bring the perpetrators of these crimes to justice for the victims and their families.
Dung Kim Truong was born in Saigon, Vietnam, on November 14, 1959. She is believed to have immigrated to the United States in 1989.
The US Social Security Death Index lists her date of death as September 22, 1997.