Detectives hope new sketches will help find Sarah Yarborough's killer

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FEDERAL WAY, Wash. — Sarah Yarborough was a 16-year-old honor student when she was raped and murdered near Federal Way High School on December 14, 1991.

Twenty-six years later, investigators with the King County Sheriff’s Office are hoping new sketches based on DNA found at the scene could finally lead to an arrest.

Captain Ted Boe said that if you compare the new and old sketches, "you can tell it's the same person. The witnesses saw the right guy."

Boe commands the major investigations unit for the King County Sheriff's Office and was a sophomore at Federal Way High when Yarborough was killed.

The crime had “a deep impact on the entire community,” Boe told KIRO 7.

The day of the murder, eyewitnesses worked with investigators to help create a sketch of a potential suspect seen shortly before Yarborough’s body was found, partially hidden, near the school’s tennis courts.

The witnesses described the young man they saw as white, six feet tall with a medium build and shoulder-length blonde hair.

New sketches–based on statistical analysis of DNA found at the scene–have been created by Parabon Nanolabs, renewing hope this case will finally be solved.

“We’re hoping to get that one phone call. It’s going to take one good tip,” said retired Detective Jim Allen. He and retired Detective Tom Jensen have continued working on the Yarborough case, even after leaving the sheriff’s office.

“We have the DNA, so we just need that one person, that one tip, and that will close the case,” said Allen.

Andrew Yarborough, now 37 years old, has been hoping for an arrest in his sister's murder since he was 11.

“If being here and talking, sharing Sarah’s life, sharing memories, helps with that, then I’m in,” Yarborough said.

Jensen said detectives are motivated to solve all their case but “I think some cases are a little more touching, I guess.”

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The legendary detective, who helped track down Green River Killer Gary Ridgeway, teared up at the mention of Yarborough’s name and called her case “unfinished business.”

If you have information about this crime please call the King County Sheriff’s Office at 206-296-3311 or email mcutips@kingcounty.gov.