Last Bones Tied to 'Green River Killer' Are Traced

They belong to Tammie Liles, who disappeared at age 16 in 1983
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 23, 2024 3:56 PM CST
Last Bones Tied to 'Green River Killer' Are Traced
Tammie Liles.   (King County Sheriff's Office)

The last known human remains tied to Washington state's "Green River Killer" have been identified as belonging to a 16-year-old girl who vanished from Seattle in 1983. Tammie Liles of Everett has long been known to be among Gary Ridgway's female victims, totaling at least 49. Partial remains discovered in Tigard, Oregon, in 1985 were confirmed to be hers through dental records in 1988. However, Ridgway, serving a life sentence at Washington State Penitentiary, led investigators to more remains at a site in Washington's King County in 2003. "Bones 20," as they came to be known, have now been connected to Liles through DNA, the King County Sheriff's Office confirmed Monday, per the Seattle Times.

"It's an immense feeling of satisfaction that in this case, that started in the early '80s, we are able to identify all of Gary Ridgway's victims—all 49 of them," says Eric White, a sheriff's office spokesperson. That office sought help from genetic genealogy company Othram, which built a new DNA profile based on the bones and teeth. That profile was linked to distant relatives of Liles through a database called DNASolves, per the Times. Liles' mother then provided a DNA sample, confirming her daughter as the source of "Bones 20." The family has requested privacy at this time, Sheriff Patricia Cole-Tindall says, per CBS News.

Liles' bones are the last known remains linked to Ridgway to be identified. "Bones 17," the second-to-last remains identified, found in Auburn in 1985, were recently traced to 15-year-old victim Lori Anne Razpotnik, who ran away from her Lewis County home in 1982, KIRO reported last month. However, there are "other unsolved cases out there that may or may not be connected to Ridgway," who's claimed to have "killed 65 to 70 young women and little girls," Dave Reichert of the Sheriff's Office now tells KIRO. Another sheriff's office rep notes the 2003 plea deal that saw Ridgway, 74, avoid the death penalty wouldn't apply if he is convicted in another murder case outside of King County. (More Green River Killer stories.)

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