Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg were murdered after travelling to Washington state in 1987. TheSnohomish County Sheriffs Department will hold a press conference Wednesday to discuss new evidence inthe murders of the Victoria couple. (Photo submitted)

Police hope new tools will help solve 30-year-old murder

New DNA analysis being used on case of Victoria couple killed in Washington state

Police are hoping to write a new chapter to a 30-year-old murder mystery.

It’s been more than 30 years since a Victoria couple were found murdered during a trip into Washington state. Jay Cook, 20, and 18-year-old Tanya Van Cuylenborg were running an errand to Washington state and borrowed Cook’s father’s van to make the journey. The Oak Bay high school sweethearts, who were living in Saanich at the time, boarded the Coho Ferry on Nov. 18, 1987, crossing to Port Angeles. They were last seen alive in the Bremerton/Seattle area.

The Snohomish County Sheriffs Department has scheduled a press conference for Wednesday in Everett, Wash. to unveil new information learned from Snapshot DNA phenotyping. The victims’ family members will also be on hand for the press conference.

Snapshot is a new forensic DNA analysis service that accurately predicts the physical appearance and ancestry of an unknown person from DNA.

“It sounds like it’s pretty exciting, pretty new,” said Sgt. Jereme Leslie with Saanich Police, adding the investigation has primarily been focused in Washington state.

A timeline into the couple’s disappearance reveals they were reported as missing on Nov. 20, 1987. Four days later, Van Cuylenborg’s body was discovered in a ditch on a rural road near Alger, about 20 kilometres south of Bellingham. She had been sexually assaulted and then shot.

On Nov. 25, Van Cuylenborg’s wallet and keys were found discarded behind a Bellingham tavern. The van is located next to the Bellingham Greyhound bus station.

Cook’s body was found on Nov. 26 under a bridge near Monroe, Wash. Cook had been beaten and strangled.

Following the discovery of their bodies, their van was located in Bellingham; the van was beside a Greyhound station and some of Van Cuylenborg’s belongings behind a nearby local tavern.

Anyone with information is asked to contact local police or Crime Stoppers, at 1-800-222-8477 or on the web at victoriacrimestoppers.com.

 

Just Posted

Team Canada athlete pens open letter to City of Victoria about Crystal Pool

Karmen McNamara says an extended closure of the recreation facility would be ‘devastating’

Bluegrass Christmas concert sparks season of giving

Tenth annual show and fundraiser held on Dec. 1 at Cordova Bay United Church

Victoria’s Wild ARC facility welcomes new roof thanks to a rush of donations

The animal rehabilitation centre was in desperate need of repairs after 21 years

Victoria’s vacancy rate predicted to rise above one per cent

Rental rates will continue to rise, despite more availability

VIDEO: Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee dies

Marvel co-creator was well-known for making cameo appearances in superhero movies

Sides ‘far apart’ in Canada Post talks despite mediation, says union

The lack of a breakthrough means rotating strikes will resume Tuesday

Feds’ appeal of solitary confinement decision in B.C. to be heard

Judge ruled in January that indefinite such confinement is unconstitutional, causes permanent harm

B.C. health care payroll tax approved, takes effect Jan. 1

Employers calculating cost, including property taxes increases

Nunavut urges new plan to deal with too many polar bears

Territory recommends a proposal that contradicts much of conventional scientific thinking

Shelter struggles: Landlord takes over rental unit whenever visiting B.C. town

Renter’s story highlights how hard it is to find accommodation in Revelstoke

Lack of public response threatens B.C. referendum credibility

Of the few who have voted, poll finds most rejected proportional representation

Tentative deal reached in NHL concussion lawsuit

More than 100 former players accused the league of failing to better prevent head trauma

Grim search for more fire victims; 31 dead across California

More than 8,000 firefighters battled wildfires that scorched at least 1,040 square kilometres

Most Read