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

Peace Walk fundraiser for hospice runs on Sunday

Take a walk, have a snack, and help donate to a local charity

Thousands attend 31st TD Art Gallery Paint-In

Artists display their work along 20 blocks of Moss Street

Details scarce as union confirms probe underway involving Victoria care homes

Island Health, VicPD offer no comment on report of investigation into alleged sexual assaults

Swimmer set for double crossing of Georgia Strait

Jill Yoneda’s Aug. 3 swim will benefit Canuck Place

Sport fishing ban protest organizers trolling for attention

Hook-less anglers hitting Sooke area waters July 29 to protest DFO’s summer fin-fish ban

BC Games: Day 2 comes to an end

Hundreds of medals have been handed out at the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

Brush fire breaks out west of Port Alberni

Fire forces partial closure of Highway 4 heading to Ucluelet and Tofino

Five fun things to do this weekend

From a paint in to festivals, there are lots of fun events taking place this weekend

Accident on Vancouver Island after artillery gun rolls down hill and damages taxi

Witness says accident happend about 1 p.m. Saturday; RCMP investigating

B.C. mining company, involved in 2014 spill, ordered to pay lost wages

Mount Polley Mining Company must pay wages to 26 employees who were laid off without proper notice

Two significant wildfires burning in southeastern B.C.

More than 20 fires were burning in the Southeast Fire Centre as of Saturday afternoon

Volunteers provide the glue that keeps BC Games moving

The 2018 Cowichan Summer Games had more than 2,300 volunteers on hand across Vancouver Island

No Name brand chicken nuggets recalled due to possible salmonella

Canadian Food Inspection Agency says multiple illnesses reported in B.C., Alberta and Ontario

Lodeiro scores twice to help Sounders beat Whitecaps 2-0

Seattle’s Nicolas Lodeiro opened the scoring in the fifth minute when he converted a penalty kick

Most Read