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Dec-15-2009 14:30printcomments

1985 Remains Identified as Those of Missing Teenager Angela Girdner

Detectives are asking anyone with information about either victim during the years 1983, 1984, or 1985 to please call the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

16-year old Angela Marie Girdner
16-year old Angela Marie Girdner
Photo: Washington County Sheriff

(PORTLAND, Ore.) - In October of 2009, the remains of Angela Marie Girdner were identified by the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office.

Her remains had been discovered in April of 1985 in Washington County. Angela had been missing from Portland since May of 1983 when her parents reported her as runaway. Detectives believe that Angela may be a victim of serial killer Gary Ridgway, who is serving 48 consecutive life sentences in Washington.

16-year old Angela Marie Girdner was reported as a missing person by her parents in May of 1983. She had been a straight-A student at St. Mary’s of the Valley Catholic High School in Beaverton until she met the wrong people during the last year of her life.

According to a release from the Washington County Sheriff's Office, Angela rode the bus from north Portland to Beaverton for school each day.

"Her parents believe it was on the bus line where Angela first encountered the people who turned her life upside-down with drugs and eventually prostitution. The last time they heard from Angela was in July of 1983 when she called and told her mother that she was okay, but did not say where she was at that time."

Angela was killed sometime between when she called her mother in 1983 and early in 1985. Her skeletal remains were discovered April 22, 1985, in a wooded area along SW Tualatin Road across from the Tualatin Country Club. Hers was one of two bodies discovered by people walking in the area, and one of four bodies that were discovered within a mile of each other in 1985.

16-year old Angela Marie Girdner

At the time Angela’s remains were discovered, Washington County Sheriff’s Detectives were unable to identify her or the other body found. Both bodies were badly decomposed and there were only small traces of clothing discovered with them. In 1998, the remains discovered with Angela’s were identified as Tammie Liles who was born on May 9, 1967. Tammie was last seen in Seattle working as a prostitute in June of 1983. She was eventually reported missing by her family in March of 1988, which led to her identification through dental records.

In June of 1985, two months after the discovery of Angela’s and Tammie’s remains, two more sets of skeletal remains were found off of SW Bull Mountain Road near SW 142nd Avenue. Detectives recognized the similarities with the Seattle area’s Green River killings that were predominant in the news at the time.

They contacted the King County Sheriff’s Office Green River Task Force, who eventually identified the two bodies found on Bull Mountain as those of Shirley Shirell, born January 16, 1964, and Denise Bush, born June 10, 1959. Both were known prostitutes in the Seattle area and both were listed as missing persons.

In the years that followed, the unidentified remains of Angela Girdner were sent to the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office, who sent them to the King County Medical Examiner’s Office for possible identification. King County was unable to identify Angela, so her remains were sent back to the Oregon State Medical Examiners Office. Unfortunately, somewhere in the transfer process they were misplaced. Earlier this year, Angela’s remains resurfaced at the Clackamas County Medical Examiner’s Office.

They realized the bones did not belong to any of their cases. The Clackamas County Medical Examiner’s Office sent the remains back to the Oregon State Medical Examiners Office, who then notified the Washington County Sheriff’s Office that the unidentified bones were in their possession.

Sheriff’s detectives met with representatives from the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office and asked that dental records from missing persons in that area be compared once again to the remains. Based on the investigation conducted over the years, Angela’s remains were compared to the dental records her dentist had submitted in 1985. They matched.

Angela Girdner’s parents were notified by detectives that their daughter, who had been missing for over 26 years, had been identified.

Convicted killer Gary Ridgeway

In 2001, Gary Ridgway was arrested in King County, Washington, for the murder of five women. He later pled guilty to the murders of 48 women, including Shirley Shirell and Denise Bush. Ridgway claimed that he killed the women in King County and later transported the bodies to Oregon. Shirley, Denise, and Tammie were all reported missing from the Seattle area.

Angela was reported missing from the Portland area and detectives have not received any information that she was in the Seattle area prior to her death.

Because of the close proximity of Tammie’s and Angela’s remains to the remains of Shirley and Denise, the location where their bodies were disposed of, and the time frame of the murders, detectives believe that Gary Ridgway is responsible for their deaths.

He has denied any involvement in the deaths of Angela Girdner or Tammie Liles.

Detectives are revisiting the murders of Angela Girdner and Tammie Liles and are going through all the evidence that has been collected over the years. They are asking anyone with information about either victim during the years 1983, 1984, or 1985 to please call the Washington County Sheriff’s Office at 503-846-2500.


Special thanks to Sgt Dave Thompson with the Washington County Sheriff's Office, for this news release.




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Anonymous April 11, 2016 8:29 pm (Pacific time)

Gary Ridgway most likely IS responsible for their deaths. He does not confess to them because if he does, he loses his death penalty avoidance deal, which specifies that he can still be tried for any and all cases that occurred outside of King County. But their proximity to the remains of his known victims Bush and Shirrell make him a very likely suspect. And yes, he is the GRK: his DNA was found on 4 victims, and other evidence on several others. He was a suspect from the beginning. There is no shortage of serial killers, and the "real" GRK is in Walla-Walla.


Anonymous April 11, 2016 8:28 pm (Pacific time)

Gary Ridgway most likely IS responsible for their deaths. He does not confess to them because if he does, he loses his death penalty avoidance deal, which specifies that he can still be tried for any and all cases that occurred outside of King County. But their proximity to the remains of his known victims Bush and Shirrell make him a very likely suspect. And yes, he is the GRK: his DNA was found on 4 victims, and other evidence on several others. He was a suspect from the beginning. There is no shortage of serial killers, and the "real" GRK is in Walla-Walla.


Anonymous September 19, 2010 10:11 am (Pacific time)

I too believe Gary Ridgeway was not responsible for the death of Angela Girdner. Gary Ridgeway confessed to other cases, if he had done this he would have confessed. I also think Gary Ridgeway was a patsie for a group of people who where responsible for these deaths.


guest June 23, 2010 6:29 am (Pacific time)

I lived on Auburns west hill by the cematary where 4 bodies were found. Also in Dec 2000 a young woman was dumped off hiway 169 on New years eve. Same area where 3 others were found. .


Hmmm January 25, 2010 2:55 pm (Pacific time)

There are also unsolved strangulation cases with the same MO, occurred in the late 80's early 90's in W. Oregon near PCH. They were teenage girls who were dumped together and badly decomposed. Same MO as the GRK...and I agree that he is probably still out there.....


YER MOMMA December 25, 2009 11:36 pm (Pacific time)

GARY RIDGWAY ISN'T INVOLVED IN THIS GIRDNER CASE, THE LILES CASE OR ANY OTHER MURDERS IN OREGON WHATSOEVER FOR THAT MATTER, AT ALL - KING COUNTY SHERIFF'S FRAMED THE IDIOT MR. RIDGWAY - HE'S NOT EVEN THE GREEN RIVER KILLER: HE HAS AN IQ OF JUST 60. DUH. WOULD YOU LIKE TO EXPLAIN THE 12 UNSOLVED MURDERS IN W. WA. STATE OF FEMALES THAT HAPPENED AFTER RIDGWAY WAS ARRESTED; NONE ARE SOLVED AND THEY ALL LOOK ALIKE. . . IT'S NOT LIKE THERE ARE SCADS OF DIFFERENT KILLERS OUT THERE I'M SURE, JUST ONE AND HE'S STILL SLAUGHTERING WOMEN AND GIRLS AT RANDOM WITH ABSOLUTELY NO FEAR OF DETECTION AND THE ACTUAL ASSISTANCE OF POLICE . . . THE POLICE MADE THIS POSSIBLE AND KEEP ASSISTING THE REAL GREEN RIVER KILLER TO CONTINU8E KILLING UNDETECTED, ALL TO KEEP THE RUSE GOING THAT RIDGWAY IS THE GREEN RIVER KILLER. WHAT A BAD JOKE ON THE WROLD. . . THE REAL KILLER IS GONNA KILL SOMEONE YOU CARE ABOUT NEXT. . . WAKE UP PEOPLE - WAKE UP. FOOLS.

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