Opening statements begin in case of young couple killed in 1987

VIDEO: Opening statements begin in case of young couple killed in 1987

EVERETT, Wash. — Jurors are hearing opening statements in Everett Friday in the trial of a SeaTac man accused of murdering a young Canadian couple in November of 1987.

William Earl Talbott II, a 56-year-old trucker, is charged with two counts of aggravated first-degree murder in the deaths of 18-year-old Tanya Van Cuylenborg and 20-year-old Jay Cook.

The couple was killed on what was supposed to be an overnight road trip from their hometown of Saanich, British Columbia, near Victoria, to Seattle.

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Prosecutors believe Van Cuylenborg was sexually assaulted, the Herald reported. She and her boyfriend's bodies were found in different counties about a week after they disappeared.

Van Cuylenborg was found down an embankment in Skagit County. She was shot in the back of the head.

Two days later, Cook’s body was found near a bridge over the Snoqualmie River in Monroe. Authorities said he had been beaten with rocks and strangled with twine and two red dog collars.

Talbott was arrested last year after authorities used a novel method called genetic genealogy to identify him as the person they say left his DNA on Van Cuylenborg's pants.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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