Search and Rescue Teams Find Stranded Eight-Year Old’s Mother

June 8, 1999

Tuesday, June 8, 1999
On Monday, June 7, 1999 at approximately 6:20 A.M., employees of the Browing Ferris Industries of California Sunshine Landfill (BFI), located on San Fernando Road at Balboa, advised police that they had found an 8-year old Vietnamese boy who wondered out of the hills behind the BFI property. BFI employees cleaned mud and dirt from the boy and gave him food and water prior to calling LAFD Paramedics. LAPD Devonshire Area Officers responded to the location after the boy indicated that his mother (Ngoc Tuy Thi Phan) female, Vietnamese, 39 years of age had driven into the BFI property and become stranded when their car broke down. The boy identified as Richard Phan was taken to a local hospital where he is being treated for dehydration, exposure and cuts and bruises.

The search was joined by the Los Angeles Police Department’s Air Support, Mounted Unit, K-9 and Metropolitan Division Officers. Blood Hounds from South Pasadena Police Department joined the search in addition to the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Montrose Search and Rescue Team.

The BFI sight includes approximately 1,600 acres of heavy brush and steep terrain. A purse and contents including prescription glasses, medication and identification belonging to Phan was located several miles from the disabled car.

There were 80 – 100 personnel dedicated to the search. LAPD was in contact with the family of the woman who stated that she left home due to her unhappiness with living arrangements. Phan suffers from a mental condition that requires medication. The search was to continue through the night due to the urgency of the situation.

At 8:10 P.M. Los Angeles County Air Unit 23 detected and located Ngoc Phan in the dense growth of a large canyon within the landfill. Coincidentally, the Blood Hounds from South Pasadena Police and the Montrose Search and Rescue Team were headed in Phan’s direction when she was discovered by the Sheriff’s Air Unit.

Montrose Search and Rescue Personnel brought out Phan on foot. She was treated by LAFD Paramedics and transported to a local hospital where Phan was treated for dehydration, cuts, bruises, and a mental condition.

The Los Angeles County Department of Children’s Services will determine temporary custody of 8-year old Richard Phan. No criminal charges are pending.

For Release 2:35 pm PST
June 8, 1999