Arrest made in 27-year-old murder of Federal Way teen Sarah Yarborough

Oct 3, 2019, 12:28 PM

The King County Sheriff’s Office has made an arrest in a cold case that is more than 20 years old.

Sarah Yarborough was a 16-year-old honor student when she was raped and murdered Dec. 14, 1991, near Federal Way High School.

She was last seen leaving her home to go to a high school dance competition. Her car was found in the school parking lot and her body was discovered in a wooded area on campus later that day.

The suspect in the case is 55-year-old Patrick Leon Nicholas, according to police. He was booked into the King County Jail Wednesday night. Sources told KIRO 7 Reporter Amy Clancy a familial DNA match led to Nicholas’ arrest.

A suspect image, left and victim Sarah Yarborough, right, who was found dead Dec. 14, 1991 near Federal Way High School. (KIRO 7 TV)

The day of the murder, witnesses 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.

Last year, a company called Parabon Nanolabs used DNA markers and genetics to create a series of composite sketches to predict what Yarborough’s killer may have looked like at ages 18 and 25, and how he may look today.

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Arrest made in 27-year-old murder of Federal Way teen Sarah Yarborough