She was strangled and shot in the head. Her partially decomposed body was discovered in August 1977 by blackberry pickers.
Detectives were able to convict a man in her murder, but they still don’t know her name.
For more than 30 years, detectives have tried to discover her identity. Now, a new effort is under way.
The young woman’s remains were exhumed from her unmarked grave on April 1 at Cypress Lawn Memorial Park in south Everett. Experts hope to apply modern technology, including DNA testing, to identify her.
Snohomish County sheriff’s detectives obtained a Superior Court exhumation order March 20. They made their action public Thursday in court papers. The woman, now believed to have been between 15 and 21 years old, had been put to rest on an east-sloping portion of the cemetery overlooking Everett Mall Way.
“New DNA and medical technology in the past 30 years may now make it possible to finally identify this victim,” said an affidavit for the court order. An examination of the remains “will lead, hopefully, to identifying this victim of murder and finally notify her loved ones.”
Cold case detectives recently spoke with David Marvin Roth, who was convicted of first- degree murder. Sheriff’s spokeswoman Rebecca Hover said Roth continues to maintain he doesn’t even know the victim’s first name.
Roth, now 50, has finished serving his time and was paroled in May 2005, state Department of Corrections spokesman Chad Lewis said.
His older brother, Randy Roth, also was convicted of murder.
Randy Roth was sentenced to prison for 50 years following a sensational trial in 1992. Jurors found that he had drowned his wife for insurance money in King County and then tried to make it look like an accident.
The younger Roth brother went to prison first.
In 1977, authorities said that David Roth picked up a hitchhiker near Silver Lake, where he had gone to swim. He drove her to the area off what is now 112th Street SW and Fourth Avenue W. in south Everett, where they drank some beer.
When she refused him sex, he strangled her and then shot her in the head with a .22-caliber rifle, court records said. David Roth was linked to the killing in 1979 after his loaded rifle was seized in a traffic stop. Ballistic experts matched the bullets found in the murder victim with his weapon.
In 1992, now retired sheriff’s detective John Hinds used a plaster cast of the victim’s skull to create a facial reconstruction. Images of the reconstruction were widely distributed throughout the area, but no one who might have known the woman came forward.
At the time, officials indicated that the victim might have been between 17 and 37. Hover said the 1992 reconstruction likely made the victim appear much older than she was in life. Hinds now is working on a revised sketch, which should be released soon, Hover said.
Over the last few weeks, the victim’s remains were examined by Dr. Kathy Taylor, a King County anthropologist, who determined she was younger than first thought, Hover said.
The victim was white and was tall, standing about 5 feet 10. She weighed about 155 pounds, wore her brown or light-brown hair short. The hair showed no sign of color treatments. The victim appeared to have a suntan at the time of her death.
She was wearing a tank top with pastel stripes, cutoff jeans and blue and white tennis shoes. She also had a Timex watch with a brown leather band on her left wrist. Her upper two front teeth had dental restorations.
Reporter Jim Haley: 425-339-3447 or firstname.lastname@example.org.