Danniella Vian’s car auctioned, as loved ones question her death investigation

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MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — A blue 2014 Chevy Cruze with “water/flood” damage.

Anyone casually browsing the internet might not think twice about an online car auction with such a description.

However, for loved ones of Danniella Vian — whose disappearance in 2018 kept the local community in suspense for a year — the listing is another source of pain, another reminder that, in their eyes, justice has not been served.

The car in the listing is the one Vian purchased the day she disappeared, the car that was shown on billboards and media reports in the months that followed, the car in which the young Mobile mother was found dead.

The Justice for Danniella Vian Facebook page shared the news of the recent car auction, which was listed on the Premium Luxury Cars website, based in Ukraine.

The listing says the car sold for $25. Other fees, including an auction commission and delivery costs, brought the total price to the unnamed Ukrainian bidder to $4,150, according to the auction site.

Julie Dykes Thomas, the grandmother of Vian’s daughter, posted on Facebook about her frustration over the auction.

“We’re under the impression that the investigation is still open n active n then find this!! Is this not evidence? Or a potential crime scene? This makes no sense..especially when her family..her daughter hasn’t been given any kind of update!!” she wrote in the post.

Photo Courtesy: Justice for Danniella Vian/Facebook (left), Premium Luxury Cars (right)

Vian was last seen on July 17, 2018, the day she purchased the Chevy Cruze. She had gone to a bar to celebrate the purchase with friends. She and others then went to a second bar and had plans to meet at a third.

She was last seen at the Shell gas station at I-65 and Government, where she reportedly told one of the people she was with that she had left her phone at the second bar and was going to retrieve it. 

Vian never made it.

In the months that followed, MPD would plead with the community for help solving the mystery of where Vian went after leaving the gas station.

Danniella Vian (1)_1535125902924.jpg.jpg

The department offered a reward and launched a blog to solicit tips from the community. Billboards went up across the city with pictures of Vian and her car.

The car would not be seen again until May 2, 2019. A law enforcement dive team found the car while on a training mission in Bayou Sara in Saraland. 

The next day, crews pulled the submerged car out of the water. Inside was a woman’s body.

It wasn’t until weeks later that MPD confirmed it was Vian’s body in the car. Police ruled the cause of death “undetermined” but said how the car was found was “consistent with that of an accident.”

RELATED: Family and friends react to discovery of Danniella Vian’s car, remains

Over the past year, Julie Dykes Thomas and others close to Vian have maintained her death was no accident, that there are people out there who know the truth about what happened.

“We can’t change the past but we can be her voice n the present n make sure she gets justice!!” she wrote in her recent post about the car auction.

She and others continue to ask anyone who knows something about that night, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant the detail, to please speak up.

“Tell me how THIS looks like an accident!! If someone can explain this to me..plz go ahead..but I’m gonna keep making noise!!!” the post goes on to say, ending with the hashtag:

#TRUTHandJUSTICEforDANNIELLA

To date, no one has been charged in Vian’s disappearance.

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