Decades-Old Green River Killer Victim 15-year-old Lori Anne Ratzpotnik Identified After DNA Testing

A victim of the Green River Killer, whose body was discovered nearly four decades ago, has been identified.

In 1985, two sets of human remains were found along a steep embankment in Auburn, Washington. These remains, initially known as Bones 16 and Bones 17, were investigated by the Green River Task Force, which had been established to probe a series of bodies discovered in the woods along the Green River in Washington during the early 1980s.

In 2002, Gary Ridgway, known as the Green River Killer, led officials to the location of these remains, confessing to placing victims there. He pleaded guilty to the murders of these two victims and 46 other women and girls in 2003. In 2012, Bones 16 was identified as Sandra Majors through DNA testing.

This week, investigators concluded that Bones 17 belonged to Lori Anne Ratzpotnik, a 15-year-old who had run away from home in 1982. Ratzpotnik, originally from Lewis County, approximately 75 miles away from Auburn, had remained unidentified until now.

Investigators collaborated with Parabon NanoLabs to conduct forensic genetic genealogy testing on the remains, resulting in the development of a new DNA profile. Ratzpotnik’s mother provided a saliva sample for DNA comparison testing conducted by the University of North Texas, which confirmed the identity of the remains.

Gary Ridgway’s first murder victims were discovered in 1982, and he was arrested in 2001. In 2003, Ridgway pleaded guilty to 48 counts of aggravated murder in the first degree and is currently serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla.

Two of Ridgway’s victims remain unidentified, as he was unable to provide any significant information about them. Additionally, three women—Kassee Ann Lee, Kelly Kay McGinnis, and Patricia Ann Osborn—last seen in the Seattle area during the early 1980s, are still missing and are listed on the official Green River Homicides list. Ridgway was not charged in connection with their disappearances.

Authorities are also searching for three missing women, one of whom remains unidentified, who disappeared in the early 1980s. One of these women had an association with Tammie Liles, another victim of Ridgway. Police encourage anyone with information about these women or any other crimes related to the Green River case to come forward.

Chris Morris
Author: Chris Morris

Leave a Reply

Share on:

[mailpoet_form id="1"]

Subscribe to Our Newsletter