Joyce Chiang 1999 murder mystery may be solved

Joyce Chiang, seen in this missing person flyer.

D.C. police announced that they know the suspects in the 1999 slaying case of Joyce Chiang. But in a twist, there isn't enough evidence to prosecute.

"This case of Joyce Chiang has now officially been ruled a homicide,” said MPD Chief Cathy Lanier. “Over the past several years there has been statements made that were inaccurate."

That doesn’t mean the case will be prosecuted. Sources tell ABC7 that even though investigators have identified two suspects, one is serving life in prison in Maryland and another has been deported to Guyana in South America.

Prosecutors don’t have enough evidence to go to trial.

Chiang’s body was found by a boater on the Potomac River in Fairfax County in 1999. The case has gone unsolved until now. According to her brother Roger Chiang, D.C. officers will announce on Friday that three suspects responsible for a string of crimes robbed Joyce, then 28, and she was either pushed or fell into the river.

“It's been a long path,” said Roger Chiang, the victim’s brother. “But ten years later, the truth comes out and we know indeed my sister was murdered.”

Chiang was last seen alive on January 9th, 1999, on her way to a coffee shop in her Dupont Circle neighborhood. A police officials at that time told reporters it appeared she had committed suicide. The case was reopened two years later when federal intern Chandra Levy went missing. Both Levy and Chiang were single women living lived in Dupont who mysteriously disappeared.

The two incidents turned out to be unrelated. Investigators now believe Chiang was confronted by three men on that January day, who took her to the Anacostia River and robbed her. She was either pushed or slipped in the icy waters.

“If you take a look at the crime scene it is evident it is a homicide,” Roger Chiang said.

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Roger Chiang, the victim’s brother. (Photo: Horace Holmes)

“To go on for ten years without your friend is a long time, but we all are very happy that we finally have some semblance of justice but it is a little late,” said Chiang’s friend Amy Well.

Joyce Chiang was a lawyer for the Immigration and Naturalization Service.