(Jay Cook, 20, and Tanya van Cuylenborg, 18)

Thirty-one years ago, Victorian youths Tanya Van Cuylenborg (18) and Jay Cook (20) went to Washington to run an errand for Cook’s father. About a week later, they were both found dead.

Investigators were never able to solve the case and to this day it remains a murder mystery that haunts the town.

But according to the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Department, recently uncovered DNA evidence may help authorities hone in on the suspect.

Press conference to be held tomorrow

A media advisory from the sheriff’s office states that investigators will reveal the new information they have gathered on the suspect through Snapshot DNA phenotyping.

This technology can predict someone’s physical appearance and their ancestry based on a DNA sample, according to the website.

The new information will be disclosed to the public at a press conference tomorrow, at which the victims’ family members are also expected to be present.

What happened in 1987

The two Oak Bay High School graduates borrowed a van from Jay Cook’s father to pick up furnace parts for him, and headed to Port Angeles on November 18th, 1987 via the Coho ferry.

They were last seen in the Bremerton-Seattle area, and were reported missing on November 20th, 1987.

On November 24th, Tanya van Cuylenborg’s body was discovered in a ditch on a rural road near Alger in Skagit County, about 20 kilometres south of Bellingham. She had been sexually assaulted and then shot in the head.

A day later, her wallet and keys were found behind a Bellingham tavern and the van was located next to the Bellingham Greyhound bus station.

On November 26th, 1987, Jay Cook’s body was found under a bridge near Monroe, Washington. He had been beaten and strangled to death.

Van Cuylenborg’s father believes that the couple may have picked up a hitchhiker.

 

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