Victim May Be Sixth Slain by Killer
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) _ An hour after 200 people prayed and dropped rose petals from a bridge to remember five women apparently slain by a serial killer, police said they had found another body.
All six victims may have been involved in drugs, prostitution or both, said police Capt. Chuck Bown, a commander of a city-county task force investigating the killings.
The women all died of gunshot wounds, and their bodies were found in rural areas, Bown said Thursday. Authorities would not say whether there are suspects.
Five of the victims were found in the Spokane area, in western Washington near the Idaho line. Another body was discovered in December in a field south of Tacoma, which is nearly 300 miles to the west.
Before the announcement of the sixth victim, a mostly female crowd gathered at Riverfront Park in downtown Spokane for a vigil.
Among those who spoke were relatives of Shawn McClenahan, one of the six. The 39-year-old’s body was found Dec. 26 in an abandoned gravel pit.
``These women had lives, with families that loved them,″ said Kerri McClenahan, her sister-in law.
``It’s horrible,″ added Shawn McClenahan’s sister, Kathy Lloyd. ``It’s almost too much to bear to keep going on without Shawn.″
With assistance from the FBI, detectives are sorting through more than 700 tips.
In addition to the presumed serial killings, the task force is looking into the unsolved slayings of more than a dozen other women in the Spokane area since 1984.
In that year, the Green River killings in the Seattle-Tacoma area ended at a total of 49 women, most of them prostitutes. Authorities speculate that killer may be in prison or dead.