BAYOU LA BATRE, Alabama (AP) -- A day after reporting his four young children were missing, a shrimp fisherman broke down and confessed that he threw them off an 80-foot-high bridge to their deaths, authorities said Wednesday.
Lam Luong faces four counts of capital murder.
Lam Luong, 37, was charged with four counts of capital murder, and divers searched the murky waters for the bodies of the youngsters, who ranged in age from a few months to 3 years.
Luong had a drug habit and had argued with his wife, Ngoc Phan, before taking the children, said Phan's brother-in-law, Kam Phengsisomboun.
Authorities said they believe Luong then drove on Monday to the two-lane Dauphin Island bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway, stopped at the highest part of the span and threw the youngsters over the side.
Missing and presumed dead were 4-month-old Danny Luong; 1-year-old Lindsey Luong; 2-year-old Hannah Luong; and 3-year-old Ryan Phan. Phan is not the man's biological child, but Luong raised him from infancy, authorities said.
The family initially feared he had traded the children to support his drug habit, Phengsisomboun said. Luong had a crack habit and had run through an insurance settlement from an auto accident, he said. Authorities in Mobile confirmed Luong had a history of drug abuse but had no details.