Thanks to a Charley Project blog commenter I found out a little bit more about Diane Nguyen Robbins. I had wondered if she was the offspring of an American soldier and a Vietnamese woman he met in the war, and it turned out I was correct. It’s a very sad story: Diane’s mother already had one child when she moved to the US, married an American serviceman and had Diane.
Then, when Diane was twelve, she said her father was sexually abusing her. He was sent to jail and Diane’s mother left him, but the emotional toll remained and Diane vanished only a year or so later. (She may have been a Green River victim, no one knows.) Her mother committed suicide in 1991 — no doubt the grief over her daughter’s disappearance was a big factor in that, though it does sound like she had an unhappy life generally. But Diane’s half-brother is still alive and hopes she may be found. She also has family in Vietnam.
I think this story goes to show the far-reaching consequences of crime. If Diane’s father hadn’t molested her, perhaps she would not have left home and disappeared in 1985. If she hadn’t disappeared, it’s likely that her mother would be alive today. Fortunately her brother seems to have conquered his demons and is now a motivational speaker, married with kids, and involved in trying to promote racial harmony.