Murders of two unidentified women could be work of serial killer

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

KING COUNTY — There are 40,000 unidentified remains across the U.S. right now, and hundreds are in the Pacific Northwest.

The state’s only forensic anthropologist, Dr. Kathy Taylor is trying to identify the remains of two women who she believes may have the same killer. “In 2006, up in the Tolt Hill neighborhood which is near Carnation, somebody found a partial cranium in their horse pasture. There is no face, it’s just the brain case,” Taylor explains. When she started researching missing persons cases in the area where the remains were found, she uncovered another mystery.

“We looked back at a 1969 unidentified, still unidentified female that was recovered in the same general area. We realized that it is not only the same area, it’s a block, maybe two blocks a part.”

Two females murdered in the same area and likely around the same time. Could it be the work of a serial killer? Taylor says it’s very likely,  “I would find it very coincidental if we had two young women who are found in the same area and potentially date pretty close together.”

According to an old Seattle PI article, the woman they’re calling “The Tolt Hill Jane Doe” found in 1969 was described by investigators as a dark-haired, white woman between 23-25 years old. She was around 5”1 or 5”2’ and had been dead less than six months when she was discovered. And there’s more. “We actually have dentals on file on the ’69 case. But there’s nothing in the system that’s matching them,” Taylor explains.

The discovery of the partial cranium in 2006 is labeled “Told Hill Jane Doe #2” and doctor Taylor believes she was also young, probably under the age of 30, and even though she doesn’t have a description, she does have D-N-A.

“We have profiles on both of our unidentified. And they are not hitting anything in the system.”

That system is called C.O.D.I.S. or Combined D-N-A Index System. It runs through a national data base looking for matches. Matches that can come when family members of a missing persons upload their own D-N-A and complete the forensic profile. Taylor says, “The first step is to file a missing person’s report, and then the giving of the D-N-A is super simple, it’s just a cheek swab, there’s nothing evasive you won’t have to give blood.”  This method is a newer one, and families of missing loved ones are urged to use it, especially if it’s been awhile since they went missing. “If you think you’ve reported your loved one missing, especially if it’s in the 60s, 70s or 80s, call the jurisdiction and make sure that record still exists. Odds are better that it will be gone, especially if it’s 60s or 70s, than it still exists and we need those reports re-filed or we’re not going to get any of these people identified,” Taylor says.

And it’s more than just finding answers for families. It’s also about holding killer -- or in these cases -- a possible serial killer responsible.

If you think you have any information that can shed light on who these two unidentified murder victims are, call an anonymous tip into:
CRIME STOPPERS: 1-800-222-TIPS

You must call the Crime Stoppers hotline with your tip to be eligible to receive a cash reward for information leading to a fugitive’s arrest.

CLICK HERE for information on how to TEXT A TIP to Crime Stoppers