The Search of Ridgway's Current and Previous Homes
2 of 4 women Ridgway is accused of killing were missing items of jewelry when their bodies were found. If DNA from a ring or a necklace found in Ridgway's residences or vehicles were to match a victim's, the coincidence would be hard to explain to a jury.
Car Truck and RV
11-30-01 - Almost immediately upon arrest 40 - 50 King County sheriff's detectives cordoned off Ridgway's current home and 3 previous homes, including his deceased parent's old home to begin searching, digging and bringing out cadaver dogs. "We're pulling up carpet, looking underneath the carpet, looking through crawl spaces, searching the attic, looking for hair, blood, those types of things," King County sheriff Urquhart said. "A lot of this is potential trace or forensic type evidence that's going to require a lot of lab work. "
Detectives were looking for souvenirs from the victims. No clothing or jewelry was found with the remains in many cases. Christensen was missing a white-gold wedding ring. Hinds was missing a heart pendant on a gold chain.
Two families were displaced as detectives moved them out to search Ridgway's former homes. The Sheriff's Office will pay for their living expenses and cover any damage done during the searches. Urquhart referred to those homeowners as the "innocent parties." The county hasn't decided whether to reimburse the wife of the suspect, Judith Ridgway for damage from the search.
12-05-01 - 67 pages of information laid out the case against Ridgway. They searched his current residence, 3 previous residences, including his late parent's home in SeaTac, and a safe deposit box.
At South 175th Street in SeaTac, his deceased parents' house, currently empty on the market for sale, is where investigators believe Ridgway lived when women began vanishing, they found a latex glove in a bathroom, a decorative tin container containing hair tufts, samples of possible bloodstains on the wall panels, envelope with bone fragments found behind a cabinet, carpet samples, twine, a Seattle Times paper from 1983, possible glass particles, a roll of gray duct tape and a steam cleaner labeled "Gary" that detectives hope contains trace evidence. A green paint sample was taken from a closet door. "The Skull Beneath the Skin," a PD James mystery, was found.
Police also searched a lot and an abandoned house near a home where Ridgway lived from 1989 to 1997. Police searched the property after neighbors said Ridgway often went to the lot on 22nd Ave. S in Des Moines said King County Sheriffs spokesman John Urquhart. They found 4 animal bones, a black shirt, a woman's shoe, a man's boot and one black sock. They will test the carpet for blood.
At his current home on South 348th Street a items gathered include 3 wigs, a book about exploited street children, boxes of jewelry and a book about the search for the Green River killer.
Hundreds of other items of evidence were collected at other locations.
Ridgway's, wife, Judith was able to return to the home she shared with Gary on 12-6-01, for the first time since his arrest a week earlier. There is a sign in the window asking everyone, including media to respect her privacy.
Search-warrant documents made public 12-12-01 investigators searched Gary Ridgway's motor home, car and truck but have found "nothing that's obviously incriminating," King County sheriff spokesman, Sgt. John Urquhart said. "It's a raft of evidence that needs to be evaluated," said. "It means we have more work to do." In addition to the search they took tire-track prints.
Court documents showed detectives took dirt samples and tire impressions from Ridgway's motor home; earlier, documents showed other items taken from inside the motor home. Detectives sifted through the dirt to find clues to the killer's identity, said Capt. Bruce Kalin, commander of Green River Team.
During the search of Ridgway's 1992 Flair motor home the items ceased included bed sheets, pillows and carpet, tools, "numerous sets of gloves," 2 pairs of women's underpants, a BB rifle, nylon cord, nylon rope, latex gloves, a stocking cap, park guides, a knife and carpeting in a nylon bag, "flex cuffs" (used by police officers as temporarily handcuffs).
From his 1992 Ford Ranger pickup, detectives seized seats, floor mats, pink nylon rope, tools, wrappers, condoms, numerous pairs of gloves, a Coke bottle containing clear liquid, duct tape piece with writing on it and a napkin with suspected blood on it.
Detectives took a woman's earring, a plastic pie plate and toilet paper from a 1992 Mercury Sable 4 door sedan registered to Ridgway and his wife, Judith.
Police have estimated it could take months or years to analyze and match all the materials with other clues gathered in the investigation, which dates back some 19 years.
Copyright Kari Sable 1994-2006