An artist’s image of an unknown victim of Green River killer Gary Ridgway. Courtesy image.

An artist’s image of an unknown victim of Green River killer Gary Ridgway. Courtesy image.

Sheriff’s office wants help identifying Green River killer victim

Staff reports

In 2003, Gary Ridgway, Washington’s notorious Green River killer, pleaded guilty to murdering 48 women. As of today, two of Ridgway’s victims remain unidentified.

Parabon Nanolabs Inc., working in concert with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, used its proprietary Snapshot DNA Analysis to develop this composite profile of one of these remaining women.

The investigative team, including detectives with the King County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit and forensic anthropologist Dr. Katherine Taylor, has shared this newly developed image so it can work to identify a woman known only to King County investigators as Bones 17.

The woman featured here was discovered, along with another Green River victim, on Jan. 2, 1986, by detectives in southeast King County. Although unidentified at the time, her death was included in Ridgway’s 2003 plea agreement.

Forensic evidence indicates she was potentially in her mid-to-late teens at the time of her murder. The path and circumstances that brought her to the Puget Sound area remain unknown. Isotope analysis, already done in this case, suggests she may be a native of the eastern United States or Canada.

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

Every person, in the words of Dr. Taylor, needs their name. It will take the help of a nation to give Bones 17 hers.

Anyone with information that will help investigators identify Bones 17 is asked to contact:

• NCMEC ,The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, 1-800-THE LOST (1-800-843-5678). Case TA 1151979

• The King County Sheriff’s Office at 206-296-3311 or email MCUTips@KingCounty.gov. Case 86-000818.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@courierherald.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.courierherald.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 500 words or less.

More in News

Blotter bug
Enumclaw, Black Diamond police blotter | March 31 – April 8

A broken traffic light, sleeping behind the wheel, and a loud basketball game.

Enumclaw Police Correctional Officer Tyler Ewalt holds open the door to a holding cell at the police department’s jail the afternoon of April 5. The cell, while not the one he rushed to when an inmate attempted suicide last month, is nonetheless where inmates in crisis are typically held. Photo by Alex Bruell
Enumclaw jail officer prevents inmate suicide

Officer Tyler Ewalt noticed the inmate-in-crisis over a video screen in March.

Male police officers standing behind Do Not Cross tape
70-year old domestic violence suspect shot by deputies in Buckley

The man was airlifted to a hospital and remains in stable but critical condition.

The Buckley Multipurpose Center, where the city council meets.
Buckley addresses Phase 2, search for new council member during Council meeting

Council approved union contract, awarded construction bid and more

The Black Diamond City Council and city staff during their April 8 workshop meeting. Screenshot
Black Diamond looks to continue contracting with Mountain View Fire and Rescue

Eventually, though, the council wants to annex into the fire district.

Enumclaw High School will start bringing students back full time May 3. Pictured here is a student receiving a temperature check in February, when the district started allowing students back into classrooms with mix of in-person and at-home learning models. Photo by Kevin Hanson
Enumclaw students make full-time return to classrooms May 3

About a quarter of all secondary education students remain at home.

Photo via Pexels
King County residents needed for first respiratory study using Apple watches

UW study to help find if devices can detect early warning signs of acute respiratory infections, such as COVID-19 and flu.

Photo courtesy of Johnson and Johnson (jnj.com)
Johnson & Johnson vaccine halted in Washington over side effect

Following federal guidance, Washington health care providers are temporarily pausing Johnson &… Continue reading

Walt Olson climbs a ladder to remove the "Dave's Antiques" sign from Buckley Hall. The fire equipment was provided by Joe Kolisch, a former Enumclaw fire chief. This photo was provided by the Foothills Historical Society.
Buckley, Foothills Historical Society collaborate on $90,000 Buckley Hall upgrade

It will involve new flooring, electrical upgrades and carving out space for the Historical Society.

Most Read