MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Last known remains of Green River Killer case ID’d

Jan 22, 2024, 12:55 PM

green river killer...

Gary Ridgway prepares to leave the courtroom where he was sentenced in King County Washington Superior Court December 18, 2003 in Seattle, Washington. Ridgway received 48 life sentences, with out the possibility of parole, for killing 48 women over the past 20 years in the Green River Killer serial murder case. (Photo: Josh Trujillo-Pool/Getty Images)

(Photo: Josh Trujillo-Pool/Getty Images)

The King County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) has identified the last set of remains from the Green River Killer case as belonging to Tammie Liles.

Some of Liles’ remains were first discovered in 1985 near Tigard, Oregon. In 2003, they were labeled as “Bones 20.” In 2022, Othram — a company that specializes in forensic genetic genealogy to resolve unsolved murders and disappearances — was contracted by KCSO to attempt to build a suitable DNA profile and conduct associated forensic genetic genealogical research.

More on Green River Killer: Will Gary Ridgway walk out of prison?

“In August 2023, Othram notified KCSO that they successfully built a DNA profile for the unknown victim and their in-house forensic genetic genealogy team had tentatively identified Bones 20 as Tammie Liles, who was first identified as a victim through the match of dental records to a separate set of discovered remains at a location in King County,” King County Sherriff’s Office reported in a statement.

Liles’ mother later provided a DNA sample that was sent to the University of North Texas, the sheriff’s office reported. Then, using traditional STR and mitochondrial DNA testing it was determined that the remained to Liles.

More on the case

Gary Ridgway, who was given the Green River Killer moniker after his first five victims were found in the Green River, was formally convicted of 49 murders committed between the early 1980s and late 1990s, marking him as the second-most prolific serial killer in U.S. history, according to confirmed murders. Ridgway agreed to disclose the locations of still-missing women as long as he was spared the death penalty. Ridgway received a sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole instead.

Ridgway may still face the death penalty if convicted of murder outside of King County, Casey McNerthney, a spokesman for King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office (KCPAO) said in a statement emailed to KIRO Newsradio Monday. That would be handled separately from the KCPAO.

“The King County Sheriff’s Office is immensely grateful for the work of Othram Forensic Sequencing Laboratory, The University of North Texas, the King County Medical Examiner’s Office and all others who worked on helping to identify Tammie Liles,” King County Sheriff Patricia Cole-Tindall wrote.

Last month, 40-year-old remains from the Green River Killer case were identified as belonging to Lori Anne Razpotnik, who was 15 when she went missing in 1982. Her remains were classified as “Bones 17.”

More on Bones 17: 40+ year old bones identified as victim of Green River Killer

Ridgway, now 74 years old, remains incarcerated at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla. While pleading guilty to the 49 convictions, he is suspected of killing more than 90 women.

“We’re likely to find additional victims because we all suspect Ridgway had a lot more victims than he admitted to in his plea bargain,” former Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Lindquist said. “It is unlikely another County Prosecutor would want to pursue additional charges just for an arguably redundant murder conviction without the possibility of the death penalty.”

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