Arrest made in 1991 rape, murder of Sarah Yarborough at Federal Way school

An arrest has been made in the 1991 rape and murder of a 16-year-old Federal Way girl.

The King County Sheriff’s Office announced Thursday it has taken a 55-year-old man suspected in the death of Sarah Yarborough into custody.

Yarborough was last seen Dec. 14, 1991, after leaving home for a dance competition at Federal Way High School.

Her body was found on campus later that morning. She’d been strangled in broad daylight.

Witnesses saw Yarborough pull into the school parking lot at 8:10 a.m. She and her drill team were supposed to board a bus at 9 a.m.

Two boys walking across campus spotted a man stepping out of the bushes and then discovered Yarborough’s body. They ran home and told their parents.

The case went cold, but in 2018 detectives turned to new DNA technology for help.

Parabon NanoLabs, a private lab in Virginia, created images of what the suspect may have looked like at ages 18 and 25 based on his genetic markers.

A familial DNA match recently led investigators to the suspect, according to KIRO-TV.

Stacia Glenn covers crime and breaking news in Pierce County. She started with The News Tribune in 2010. Before that, she spent six years writing about crime in Southern California for another newspaper.