Newly found skull linked to "Green River" serial killer

By Elaine Porterfield

SEATTLE (BestGrowthStock) – A skull found in a wooded ravine near Seattle came from a woman missing since 1982 and believed to be another victim of Gary Ridgway, the “Green River killer” convicted of murdering 48 women, police said on Thursday.

Detectives plan to interview Ridgway about the missing woman, identified as Rebecca “Becky” Marrero, the King County Sheriff’s Office said.

She was 20 when she disappeared and was the mother of a 3-year-old girl. Investigators years ago questioned Ridgway about Marrero, but they were unable to build a case linking him to her disappearance, sheriff’s spokesman John Urquhart said.

Police have long suspected Ridgway killed Marrero and other women in addition to the 48 he was convicted of murdering.

“We knew there were other bodies out there,” Urquhart said. “It was just a question of if and when we were going to find them.”

Marrero’s skull was identified as belonging to her on Wednesday night by forensic scientist Dr. Gary Bell, who works with the King County Medical Examiner’s Office and the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab.

Her sister and mother were notified on Thursday, two days after children found the skull in a wooded ravine in Auburn, a suburb south of Seattle.

The discovery was made near where the remains of another woman were found in 2003. Ridgway was convicted of killing that woman, named Marie Malvar.

Marrero was last seen on December 3, 1982, when she left a motel near the Seattle-Tacoma Airport.

With the discovery of Marrero’s remains, detectives and prosecutors will now review the investigation into her disappearance and death, said King County Prosecutor’s spokesman Dan Donohoe.

Ridgway was arrested in 2001 and convicted of the murders two years later. He is serving a sentence of 48 consecutive life terms at Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla.

He was dubbed the “Green River killer” because the bodies of several of his victims in the early 1980s were found in or near the river, which runs through south King County.

He was spared the death penalty in a deal with prosecutors that required him to lead investigators to remains of some missing women he killed.

(Editing by Alex Dobuzinskis and Greg McCune)

Newly found skull linked to "Green River" serial killer