Name: Hang Lee
Age: 17 years old
Last Seen: January 12, 1993
Location: St. Paul, Minnesota
Status: Still missing
17 year old Hang Lee was last seen in St. Paul, Minnesota on January 12, 1993. She disappeared after getting into a car with her friend, sometime between 6:00 – 7:00 pm.
Hang Lee was born on October 9, 1975. She was a senior at Highland Park High School and worked at a local restaurant. She had plans to go to the University of Minnesota and wanted to become a writer.
At the time of her disappearance she was living with her family in Saint Paul’s McDonough Projects in the 200 block of Bigelow Lane.
Lee’s parents were refugees from Laos who did not speak English at the time. They believed she had been hanging out with a bad crowd in the years leading up to her disappearance, but had recently became more stable.
On January 12, 1993, Hang Lee was last seen leaving her home in St. Paul, Minnesota and getting into a car with her friend Kia “Nikki” Lee and several passengers between 6:00 – 7:00 pm.
Her friend returned later that night, but Lee never returned home.
Lee’s parents reported her missing to the St. Paul Police Department when she failed to return home. Because Lee had ran away before, police initially thought she’d done so again, and nothing was done on her case for six months.
All of Lee’s personal belongings were left behind at home, including her college savings, a $100 paycheck, and her purse which contained a knife and lead ball.
Lee told her brother Koua “If I don’t come back, come and look for me because I don’t trust Nikki” before she left that evening.
Lee’s father died in 2013, without ever knowing what happened to his daughter. Her mother and thirteen siblings are still hopeful that she will return home.
In 2017 her family held a “spirit release” ceremony for her, which had been her father’s wish before he died. The ceremony is to allow a persons soul to be free for reincarnation.
“The spiritual release acknowledges that Hang may no longer be alive in this world, but she will live in our hearts forever. We as her family, would like to honor her by releasing her spirit to the other world,” Lee’s niece wrote in a Facebook post.
Lee’s mother says she forgives whoever hurt her daughter, but that she wants to bring her daughter home for a proper funeral and burial.
Mark Steven Wallace
Lee’s friend Nikki initially told investigators they left to hang out with some unidentified men. Six months later she changed her story, telling police that Lee had left to go for a job interview with her own employer, 30 year old Mark Steven Wallace.
Nikki says she initially told police they left with friends because she believed Lee had run away, and also because Wallace told her not to tell anyone about the meeting.
Nikki worked for Wallace at his small painting and carpentry business located on Iroquois Avenue, and he had asked her if she knew of anyone who might want to work for him.
She told him about Hang, who was currently looking for a new job, but says she found the request odd because he didn’t seem to have enough work to warrant taking on another employee.
On January 12, several days after Nikki’s discussion with Wallace, they went to pick Hang up for the job interview.
According to Nikki, Wallace was driving a white pickup truck when they picked Hang up from her house. For unknown reasons he switched to a tan or silver 1988 Chevrolet Cavalier later that night.
After going to Wallace’s business, he dropped Nikki off at an East Side gas station and drove away with Hang in the passenger seat, presumably to take her back home. This is the last known sighting of Hang.
Wallace told investigators he dropped Hang off at Rice Street and Wheelock Parkway, near the Wong Cafe where she worked.
He was uncooperative with police and obtained a lawyer. Wallace has always denied any involvement with her disappearance.
Lee’s friend Nikki also hired a lawyer and stopped talking to police.
Wallace had been out of prison for a about a year and a half at the time of Lee’s disappearance, being formerly convicted on two rapes that occurred in 1987. In one of those cases he had promised a 16 year old girl a job interview. He then held a knife to her, tied her up, assaulted her, and threatened to kill her family if she said anything about what happened, according to the criminal complaint.
Wallace’s former house on Furness Street in Maplewood was search after police received a tip from a suspicious neighbor in 2009. Two of the three cadaver dogs used indicated a hit on the ground by the garage, but once the ground was drilled the dogs no longer showed interest.
In 2017 Wallace was charged with kidnapping, stalking, and possession of methamphetamine after being caught in a hotel in Woodbury, Minnesota with a 20 year old woman, a friend of his daughter’s.
The woman told authorities she had been held against her will, and had been physically and verbally abused by him. She also claims Wallace told her he had killed a woman in St. Paul, “She entered my business and never came out.” The victim says he threatened to do the same thing “he did to the female in St. Paul.”
He was sentenced to four years in prison for felony kidnapping.
In 2021 investigators returned to Wallace’s former home where cadaver dogs indicated a hit years earlier and used 3D imaging, but were unable to find any additional evidence in her case.
Hang Lee’s case is classified as a non-family abduction. Mark Steven Wallace is the main suspect in her case, though he has never been charged in connection with her disappearance. Her case remains unsolved.
Asian female born on October 9, 1975. Hang has black hair, brown eyes, stands 5′ tall, and weighs 90 pounds. Her bangs were dyed red at the time of her disappearance.
She speaks both English and Hmong.
Clothing & Accessories:
Hang was last seen wearing a black leather jacket, a black t-shirt with “Skid Row” on the back, black pants, sneakers, and several items of jewelry including two silver bracelets.
If you have any information regarding the disappearance of Hang Lee please contact the St. Paul Police Department at (651) 291-1111, or the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at (800) 843-5678 (800-THE-LOST).
Resources & Further Information
The Saint Paul Teen Who Never Returned Home From a Job Interview – KARE11
It’s Been Decades Since Hang Lee & Susan Swedell Disappeared – Twin Cities Pioneer Press
Family of Teen Missing From St. Paul For 24 years Says Goodbye -Twin Cities Pioneer Press
Woman Says Suspect in St. Paul Cold Case Admitted to the Crime – KSTP
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