, 2022-07-02 02:00:00,
Michelle Koski was barely 17 years old and just about to finish high school when she was raped, beaten, strangled and then bludgeoned to death in the woods near a lake on the outskirts of Seattle. The college-bound victim’s brutal murder remained a mystery for over three decades. Now, police believe they’ve finally found her killer.
“After more than 30 years of searching for answers following this terrible murder, we can finally provide Michelle’s family with some answers,” Snohomish County Sheriff Adam Fortney said on Thursday. “Thanks to the relentless persistence of our cold case detectives, new DNA technology, and advancements in genetic genealogy, we are now able to solve cases we once thought we’d never find the answers to.”
What passes for justice in the case, however, will be open to interpretation. The presumed killer is long dead; Robert Brooks, 48, died of natural causes in nearby King County, Washington, in late 2016.
According to law enforcement, Brooks was 22 years old at the time of the horrific slaying. He had just been released from prison over a juvenile offense and was living with family just blocks away from his eventual victim. Police were convinced the murderer knew Koski.
“We believe that Michelle met somebody that she knew that brought her out here so they could drink,” SCSO Detective Jim Scharf told local Seattle-based FOX affiliate KCPQ in 2012. “The person probably intended to have sex and she didn’t want to. She probably tried to flee and he ran her down and strangled her. There was a pile of concrete that had been broken up and dumped here. The killer came and got a piece of that concrete and used it to finish her off.”
The crime occurred in late August 1990. She was reportedly last seen at home on the 18th of that month but seen with friends at a popular local teenage hangout for drinking and motorcycle riding on or near the 20th – the day when Koski was finally murdered.
On Aug. 25, 1990, a woman walking her dog near Highway 522 and Echo Lake Road found the girl’s body.
“Every time she had a birthday party, she’d get sick cause of the excitement of it coming up,” Koski’s mother, Violent Simonson, said over 10 years ago while recalling her only child.
Answers back then were still far off and far from certain.
“She turned 17 August 9th and someone killed her August 20th,” Simonson said of her daughter. “She got about eleven days of being…
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