Robert Lanoue

Robert Lanoue

On July 7, 2022, police arrested 70-year-old Robert John Lanoue for the rape and murder of 5-year-old Anne Sang Pham on January 21, 1982 in Seaside, California. On that day, she had wanted to walk to kindergarten by herself. She never arrived.

Pham’s body was found on January 23, 1982, at Fort Old, then a U.S. army post. She had been sexually assaulted and strangled to death, and her body disposed of in a ditch. Her body was found by a local Army Criminal Investigation Division officer looking for illegal marijuana grow ops.

The case was reopened in February of 2022. The FGG investigation was conducted by Paragon Nanolabs, with the assistance of Dr. Ed Green from Astrea Forensics. The source of the sample used for FGG appears to have come from a rootless hair shaft. The method of confirmation has not been reported at the present time.

Pham’s parents were refugees from the war in Vietnam, who had come to California in 1975. Both of her parents have now passed away, but she has siblings who are still alive and who were notified of the arrest.

Lanoue was arrested in Nevada, and is currently awaiting extradition to California. He will face charges of first degree murder, kidnapping, and committing a lewd act on a child under the age of 14, in Monterey County Superior Court. Lanoue lived about a block from Sang at the time of her murder, and is a former soldier at Fort Ord.

Lanoue also has a criminal record for sexual offences, for which he is reported to have spent more than 20 years in prison. He was in jail in Reno, Nevada, for a probation violation at the time of his arrest for Sang’s murder.

On July 22, 2022, Lanoue was arraigned and he entered a plea of not guilty.


Associated Press. “Nevada Man Pleads Not Guilty in 1982 Killing of Child.” Fox 5 Las Vegas, July 25, 2022. Accessed January 15, 2023.

Macias, Veronica. “Nevada Man Charged for 1982 Murder of 5-Year-Old Anne Pham.” KION 46 News, February 3, 2022. Last Modified July 7, 2022. Accessed July 7, 2022.

Miller, Jax. “Authorities Reopen ‘Most Disturbing Cold Case’ of 5-Year-Old Found Dead at US Army Base.” Oxygen, February 1, 2022. Accessed July 7, 2022.

Pelisek, Christine. “Solider Arrested 40 Years After Girl, 5, Was Abducted in Her Way to School and Later Found Dead.” People, July 7, 2022. Accessed July 7, 2022.


First Name Robert
Last Name Lanoue
Other Names
Victims 1 (Details)
IGG Started 2022-02-00
Case Cleared 2022-07-07
IGG Org Parabon


Case ID Name Age Case Opened Location Investigating Org Most Serious Charge Disposition Court
1720 Anne Sang 5 1982-01-21 Seaside, CA Seaside PD Second degree murder Case is currently pending before the court Monterey CO SUP CT

Last updated: February 9, 2024

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Case data and narrative licensed under CC BY 4.0: Dowdeswell, Tracey (2023), “Forensic Genetic Genealogy Project v. 2022”, Mendeley Data, V1, doi: 10.17632/jcycgvhm96.1. All other content, including photos, have been added.