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Human Remains Discovered in 1984 Identified as Ridgeway Victim

king county sheriff's office, kcso, king county sheriff,In 2003 Gary Ridgway, Washington’s notorious Green River killer, pleaded guilty to murdering forty-eight (48) women. At the time of this plea, four of Ridgway’s victims remained unidentified.

The King County Sheriff’s Office, working in conjunction with forensic anthropologist Dr. Katherine Taylor, the DNA Doe Project and other scientists, have positively identified one of these four victims as Wendy Stephens.  Wendy was only 14-years-old when she, in 1983, ran away from her Denver (CO) home.  In 1984 her remains were discovered in SeaTac.  Wendy is believed to be Ridgway’s youngest victim.

Gary Ridgeway, the Green River Killer, wears a white shirt and looks forward while squinting.
Gary Ridgeway in a KCSO mugshot | source, Wikicommons

Today’s development is a testament to the tireless efforts of detectives, scientists and other professionals who employed the latest in emerging DNA and genealogical technologies in Wendy’s disappearance.  Cases once thought unsolvable are now within reach thanks to this pioneering work.

King County Sheriff Mitzi G Johanknecht notes, “Our experienced detectives continue to work on the Green River serial murders and roughly 300 unsolved cold cases to identify victims, hold perpetrators accountable and provide these grieving families with answers.”

Every person, in the words of Dr. Taylor, needs their name. Wendy again has hers thanks to the collaborative efforts of this investigative team.  It is our hope today’s development brings those who love Wendy one step closer to healing.


The above is a press release from the King County Sheriff’s Office.  The Auburn Examiner has not independently verified its contents and encourages our readers to personally verify any information they find may be overly biased or questionable. The publication of this press release does not indicate an endorsement of its content. 
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