In Pasadena Wednesday Night, Author Edward Humes Details the Fascinating Power of “The Forever Witness” – Pasadena Weekendr
, 2022-11-30 02:00:00,
18 year-old Tanya Van Cuylenborg and her 20-year old boyfriend Jay Cook were traveling from Saanich in British Columbia to Seattle for an overnight trip in November 1987 when they disappeared.
The following week, they had been found, in two separate and horrific crime scenes, in Washington State. Cook had been strangled, beaten to death and left near a river in Snohomish County, while Van Cuylenborg, a victim of an apparent rape and shot in the head.
The killer’s identity remained a mystery for investigators including detective Jim Scharf for 31 years until DNA evidence found on Tanya’s pants, uploaded to a website called GEDmatch, found a match, enabling genetic genealogist CeCe Moore to identify the likely suspect in just two hours.
In 2019, William Earl Talbott was found guilty by a jury of two counts of aggravated murder in the first degree and given two life sentences for the murder of the young couple. He was the first ever person to be convicted as a result of genealogy research.
In his book “The Forever Witness: How DNA and Genealogy Solved a Cold Case Double Murder,” Edward Humes discusses further how the murders of the young couple were solved after over 30 years through the help of DNA genetic genealogy tracing.
Humes said he realized he wanted to write a book about the killing of the couple after meeting members of their families and friends who had searched for answers for many years.
“Tanya and Jay’s family and friends waited so long…
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