Crime

Deputies search near Tukwila for Ridgway victim

Gary Ridgway sits in the courtroom at the Kent Regional Justice Center in 2011. King County sheriff’s deputies searched near Tukwila on Saturday for the remains of one of the Green River killer’s many homicide victims.
Gary Ridgway sits in the courtroom at the Kent Regional Justice Center in 2011. King County sheriff’s deputies searched near Tukwila on Saturday for the remains of one of the Green River killer’s many homicide victims. Staff file, 2011

King County sheriff’s detectives searched a wooded area near Tukwila on Saturday for the remains of a Green River killer victim.

A source familiar with the search said detectives found skeletal remains, but it was not clear if they were human.

Detectives said that the area searched on Saturday, at South 178th Street near Interstate 5, was one of many locations that convicted killer Gary Ridgway provided to police during the investigation after his arrest.

Detectives said that when time allows, they continue to look at information learned from Ridgway and conduct searches in areas that have not been searched before.

Ridgway grew up in King County and is believed to have started his killing spree in 1982 and continued at least into the late 1990s.

After Ridgway’s arrest, he was identified as the Green River killer — the most prolific American serial killer.

He was charged with seven homicides in 2001 and subsequently agreed to confess to every murder he committed in King County and lead investigators to sites where some of his victims’ remains were located in exchange for being spared the death penalty. Ridgway led investigators to the remains of four missing women.

Ridgway was convicted of killing 49 women in 2003, but said he likely committed more than 71 murders. Many of the women’s bodies have not been found.

Last year, victims’ families were angered when Ridgway was moved from a Colorado prison to one in Walla Walla.

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