Sex offender suspected in St. Paul teen's disappearance convicted of kidnapping
A convicted sex offender St. Paul police identified as a person of interest in a nearly 25-year-old missing person case will spend four years in prison on felony kidnapping charges.
A Washington County court handed down the 54-month sentence to Mark Steven Wallace, a 55-year-old Andover man found guilty of kidnapping to commit great bodily harm, a felony.
Charges for misdemeanor drug possession and felony stalking were dropped.
Woodbury police arrested Wallace at a hotel there last August after he fled an earlier traffic stop in Anoka County, according to a criminal complaint filed in Washington County.
Anoka County sheriff's deputies said Wallace had a woman with him who could be in danger.
Police, the complaint said, kicked down the door of Wallace's room, where they found a woman "frozen in fear."
The 20-year-old woman told police she had been staying with Wallace, the father of a high school friend, in exchange for house work because she had no permanent home.
Wallace, she said, later became physically and verbally abusive, according to the complaint.
The woman said she learned about the 1993 disappearance of 17-year-old Hang Lee, a case in which St. Paul police named Wallace a person of interest.
Lee told her brother she was headed to a job interview with Wallace's painting business before leaving the family's Highland Park apartment on a snowy night in January that year.
She never came home.
Police investigated Wallace, but he has never been charged or arrested in connection with Lee's case.
When the woman asked Wallace about the case, the complaint said, Wallace told her, "she entered my business and never came out."
He then threatened to do to her what he did to Lee and told her he knows how to get rid of blood and can cut through bone, the complaint states.
Fred Fink, assistant Washington County attorney, said his department passed along this information to Ramsey County authorities, whose jurisdiction covers the area where Lee disappeared.
St. Paul police said the case remains open and under investigation, but would not comment on the complaint or Wallace's conviction.
At the time of his Woodbury arrest, Wallace had numerous active warrants on domestic assault charges.
Wallace also earned an additional 32 months in prison earlier this month after throwing scalding water on a fellow inmate's face, resulting in second-degree burns.
His previous convictions include a first-degree criminal sexual conduct in 1988.