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Remains Identified in Green River Case

September 27, 2003

SEATTLE (AP) _ Investigators have identified bones found at a muddy site east of the city as those of a teenage girl who disappeared in 1983, a possible victim of the Green River serial killer.

Experts matched DNA from the bones with DNA samples obtained in 1998 from the family of April Dawn Buttram, the King County Sheriff’s Office said Friday.

Searchers found the bones about four weeks ago in a wooded area near Snoqualmie, about 26 miles east of Seattle.

Detectives believe at least 49 women may have been victims of the Green River killings, so called because the first bodies were found in or near the river south of Seattle.

Detectives have refused to say whether Gary Ridgway, accused in seven of the deaths, has led them to sites where bodies were buried in hopes of winning a plea deal that would spare him from execution.

Ridgway, a truck painter from Auburn, has pleaded innocent to aggravated first-degree murder in the deaths of seven women who disappeared from the Seattle area in the 1980s.

Buttram was 17 when she was last seen on a Seattle street in the summer of 1983.

``We wish that we could have April here with us but are relieved that she has been found,″ her family said in a statement.

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