The last known remains of the Green River Killer case have been identified by the King County Sheriff’s Office almost 40 years after the victim was last seen.
The partial remains were found back in 2003, but were labeled “Bones 20” as there was no way to confirm their identity. But after extensive research and testing by Othram, a sequencing laboratory specializing in forensic genetic genealogy, the remains were finally identified.
Forensic scientists were able to run a test on “Bones 20”, develop a DNA profile, and identify the remains of the victim as Tammie Liles, who was first identified as a victim in 1988 through a match of dental records to a separate set of remains discovered near Tigard, Oregon.
According to a press release from the King County Sheriff’s Office, in 1985 the remains of two unidentified women were found near the Tualatin Golf Course near Tigard, Oregon. These women were identified as Liles and Angela Girdner.
‘GREEN RIVER KILLER’ VICTIM IDENTIFIED AS RUNAWAY WASHINGTON TEEN
Gary Ridgway, also known as the Green River Killer, originally denied the murder of Liles and Girdner, but eventually led detectives to a site where he claimed he left a victim’s body. Investigators were able to uncover several bones and some teeth that were unidentifiable at the time.
Ridgway eventually admitted to moving the remains of some victims from King County to Tigard, which helped investigators piece together the partial remains.
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In November 2003, Ridgeway plead guilty to the murder of “Bones #20”, Denise Bush, and Shirley Sherrill, along with 45 other victims. He also later pleaded guilty to the murder of the 49th victim.
Throughout the 1980s, Ridgeway terrorized and instilled fear across the state of Washington. He was convicted of killing 49 women, but has confessed to 71 murders. However, investigators believe that he killed more victims.
Ridgway is currently serving life in prison at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla.