By J. Chess 2024-01-23 17:25:21.
Investigators have successfully identified the last known set of remains connected to the notorious Green River Killer, Gary Ridgway. The remains have been confirmed as those of Tammie Charlene Liles, a 16-year-old who disappeared from downtown Seattle in 1983.
Identification of Tammie Charlene Liles
The remains, previously known as “Bones #20”, were uncovered in 2003 near Kent-Des Moines Road in Seattle. With the use of advanced DNA technology, authorities have now positively identified them as those of Tammie Charlene Liles. Liles was first identified as a victim of the ruthless Green River Killer in 1988 when a partial set of her remains were found in 1985. Tragically, due to the scant amount of her remains recovered at that time, her family had to bury her in a baby casket.
Unraveling the Mystery
The first set of Liles’ remains were discovered near the Tualatin Golf Course in Tigard, Oregon, alongside the remains of another woman, Angela Girdner. However, Girdner’s remains were not identified until 2009 and have not been conclusively linked to Ridgway. Two other confirmed victims of Ridgway, Shirley Shirell and Denise Bush, were found just a mile from where Liles and Girdner’s remains were discovered. Ridgway later confessed that he had transported Liles from the Tigard area to the location near Kent-Des Moines Road.
In 2023, another victim, Lori Anne Razpotnik, was positively identified through DNA technology. With the recent confirmation of Liles’ identity, all known remains linked to the serial killer have now been identified, providing some closure to the families of the victims.
The Infamous Green River Killer
Gary Ridgway, known as the Green River Killer, was convicted for the murders of 49 women and girls in the Seattle and Tacoma, Washington, areas during the 1980s and 1990s. His victims were primarily sex workers or underage runaways, ranging in age from 14 to 38. Ridgway confessed that he targeted sex workers because he believed they would not be missed.
In 2003, Ridgway pleaded guilty to 48 murders and was sentenced to 48 life sentences without the possibility of parole, all to be served consecutively. In 2011, he confessed to an additional murder, resulting in an added life sentence. He is currently serving his sentences at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla, Washington.
Despite being convicted for 49 murders, Ridgway later admitted to killing as many as 71 women. However, he has not led officials to the remaining victims’ remains or identified all of them. The painstaking task of identifying his victims continues, in the hope of bringing justice and closure to the victims’ families.