Body found in car identified as missing Peoria woman

By WEEK Producer

November 5, 2013 Updated Nov 6, 2013 at 12:01 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- The Peoria County Coroner has confirmed the body of a young woman found inside a black Toyota Corolla in the OSF parking deck was in fact Laongdao Phangthong, 28.

“It was a volunteer reporting to work that had noticed the vehicle broadcast yesterday involving Laongdao Phangthong and Phouvone Sophanavong,” said Peoria Police Captain Mike Eddlemon.

Phangthong's car was found around 11:15am Tuesday morning, more than 24 hours after she was abducted by her estranged husband Phouvone Sophanavong outside of her workplace in Pekin.

"He forcibly made her get inside of her own vehicle in which he sped off,” said Pekin Police Detective Mike Eeton. “A witness gave chase to the vehicle but then lost it."

Using her car he than drove to OSF's parking garage where he left the car and her dead inside.

"Cause of death has not been confirmed at this time,” said Peoria County Coroner Johnna Ingersoll. “It is possible that Loangdao has sustained at least one gunshot wound that will be confirmed at autopsy."

Authorities say the couple had a history of domestic violence. On September 24th Phangthong filed for an order of protection.

"Based on the order of protection there was some information that she had listed in regards to prior domestic violence," Detective Mike Eeton.

The document states that she had moved out of the couple's Peoria home and that Sophanavong had threatened to kill her if she did not return.

"Orders of protection, some people say 'they are just a piece of paper, that's not going to stop them' but it's a means to make sure he is held accountable for his actions," Kevin Nowlan, Residential Services Director, Center for Prevention of Abuse.

Kevin Nowlan from the Center for Prevention of abuse says unfortunately this outcome is not uncommon.

"A primary reason for women being murdered in this country or showing up in an emergency room are due to an intimate partner."

If you need help leaving an abusive relationship call the Center for Prevention of Abuse at 1-800-559-SAFE. The help line is open 24 hours a day.

Following a 9-hour standoff with Police at the home on NE Monroe, Sophanavong shot himself in the chest. Police say he was transported to OSF St. Francis Medical Center. They did not comment on his injuries.