New image of Green River Killer victim ‘Bones-17’ could lead to her identification

SEATTLE — Her body was found in southeast King County on Jan. 2, 1986, but decades after she was killed by the man known as the Green River Killer, her identity remains a mystery.

Gary Ridgway pleaded guilty in 2003 to murdering 48 women. Two of his victims have yet to be identified.

One victim, who may have been in her mid-to-late teens when she was murdered, is only known to King County investigators as “Bones-17.”

Although unidentified at the time, her death was included in Ridgway’s 2003 plea agreement.

An investigative team, including detectives with the King County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit and forensic anthropologist Dr. Katherine Taylor, shared a new composite image on Friday that could help give her a name.

Scientific analysis shows she may have been a native of the eastern U.S. or Canada, but the circumstances that brought her to the Puget Sound area remain unknown.

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

Anyone with information that could help investigators identify Bones-17 is asked to contact the King County Sheriff’s Office at 206-296-3311, or email MCUTips@KingCounty.gov and reference case 86-000818.

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, which worked with Parabon Nanolabs to develop the composite profile, can also be contacted at 1-800-843-5678. Callers should reference case TA 1151979.

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