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Investigators hope new image will help ID Green River Killer victim

Parabon Nanolabs and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children used Snapshot DNA Analysis to develop the victim's composite photo.
Parabon Nanolabs Inc.
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King County Sheriff's Office
Parabon Nanolabs and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children used Snapshot DNA Analysis to develop the victim's composite photo.

Gary Ridgway, the notorious Green River Killer, has claimed responsibility for the murders of 48 women in Washington. All but two of those victims have been identified.

On Friday, the King County Sheriff’s Office released new information from Parabon Nanolabs in hopes of identifying one of those women. 

Using its “Snapshot DNA Analysis,” Parabon was able to create a composite profile of the victim known for 35 years only as Bones 17. Her remains were found on Jan. 2, 1986, near a cemetery in southeast King County.

Forensic evidence indicates she was in her mid- to late teens, and she might be a native of the eastern United States or Canada, the sheriff’s office said. The Snapshot DNA Analysis image shows a young woman with fair skin, blond hair and blue-green eyes. 

According to evidence documents in the Green River Killer case, a forensic anthropologist concluded the victim was 14 to 17 years old, white and about 5-foot-4 to 5-foot-8. 

“There is renewed urgency in this case,” Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht said in a statement. “Thirty-five years have passed since Bones 17’s discovery, and investigators want to connect with family before memories and other evidence fade.”

Dr. Katherine Taylor, a forensic anthropologist for the King County Medical Examiner's Office, says every person needs their name. “It will take the help of a nation to give Bones 17 hers.”

Anyone with information that could help investigators identify her should contact the King County Sheriff’s Office at 206-296-3311 or MCUTips@KingCounty.gov, and reference Case 86-000818.

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