By Ruth Bayang
NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY
RENTON, Wash. — A vigil on Sept. 7 for a man and woman missing from a boat on Lake Washington was cut short due to the thunderstorm that evening.
At about 10 p.m. on Sept. 2, on Labor Day, Mercer Island police received a complaint from a resident about loud music coming from a boat in the 7700 block of West Mercer Way.
The Mercer Island Police Department Marine Unit found an adrift red, 20-foot ski-type boat on the water. Music was still blasting and food, alcohol, two cell phones, and the IDs of James Le and Vanna Nguyen had been left on the deck. Police also said the two drinks found open were still cool on board the boat.
A truck and trailer belonging to Le and Nguyen were located onshore at Gene Coulon Park in Renton. Both were impounded as the investigation continues.
Investigators unlocked one of the cell phones found and scoured the GPS system to pinpoint where the boat traveled.
Mylien Pham, Le’s cousin, is asking for people with lakefront property to check their surveillance footage from Sept. 2 between 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. for any signs of the boat.
On the Facebook page dedicated to the vigil, Shawna Pike wrote, “Just wanted to share that even though the storm cut us short… rain is to be considered a blessing, and the lightening [sic] in the sky was very symbolic to the fact that both James and Vanna brought so much light and love to all of their family and friends. They were two people who truly made the world a better place.”
Friends and family had originally asked people with boats to scour the lake for Le and Nguyen.
The Facebook page now states, “[The police] request that we not get on the water as it may crowd the area and interfere with their work. Inexperienced divers advised not to go. It is deep and mucky down there and the silt is easily disturbed.”
Investigators do not suspect foul play.
Ruth can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.