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Puyallup detectives take new look at missing teen cold case

Puyallup detectives are taking a new look at the 1992 disappearance of then 14-year-old Misty Copsey from the Puyallup Fair. (Puyallup PD image) | Zoom
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Puyallup Police are hoping you might have a few old photos of the Puyallup fair somewhere, from 1992 to be specific, as they take a new look at the disappearance of 14-year-old Misty Copsey.

Lead Detective Don Bourbon says the renewed effort was sparked by their desire to reach people outside of the region who might have been visiting the fair that year. They're putting the word out on Twitter and Facebook.

"Everyone knows that social media reaches not only Puyallup and the State of Washington, but the United States and the World," he says.

Misty was at the fair with friends on September 17, 1992. She went missing shortly after their visit.

Unable to find a ride home, she went to a local bus stop. The bus driver informed Misty that he had already completed their last run.

"The last thing was she was walking away from the bus stop area. That's the last anybody has seen of her," says Bourbon.

Early on, cops thought Misty might be a runaway. But the case quickly turned into a murder investigation.

Detective Bourbon says two of Misty's male friends and one female friend are considered people of interest, although they're not calling them suspects.

"Those individuals have been investigated and interviewed multiple times and they've been polygraphed," says Bourbon. "Until Misty's body has been recovered or until we have concluded or resolved this case [...] they're still considered individuals in the case."

There's also the possibility Misty was taken or hurt by a stranger. There were several men known to have raped or killed women in the area about the time Misty went missing, including a man who was convicted of abducting a 15-year-old girl from the Puyallup Fair just four months later. He dumped that girl, alive, in a 20-foot ravine.

Misty's mom is hoping her daughter might also be found alive.

"The pain never goes away," says Bourbon. "She's always keeping hope. She's very optimistic at this point."

If you might have pictures or video that would be helpful to the investigation, please contact Detective Bourbon at donb@ci.puyallup.wa.us .

Kim Shepard, KIRO Radio Reporter
Kim Shepard is a news anchor and reporter for KIRO Radio and the office optimist. She's energetic, quick to laugh and has a positive outlook on life.
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