Man arrested in 1987 Wash. State murders of Saanich couple
CTV Vancouver Island
Published Friday, May 18, 2018 10:16AM PDT
Last Updated Friday, May 18, 2018 6:18PM PDT
Authorities say an arrest has been made in the cold case of a Saanich couple found murdered in Washington State in 1987.
Investigators say SeaTac-area man William Earl Talbott II, 55, has been taken into custody and charged with the first-degree murder of Tanya Van Cuylenborg, 18.
On Nov. 18, 1987, Van Cuylenborg, 18, and her boyfriend Jay Cook, 20, left Vancouver Island on a trip to Seattle. They were last seen by their families as they boarded a ferry in Victoria to Port Angeles.
Six days later, Van Cuylenborg's body was found in northern Snohomish Country. Cook was found beaten and strangled a few days later on Nov. 26.
Police said they took Talbott into custody as he left work in Seattle, and that he did not talk to officers during the arrest. Police clarified that he was only charged with Van Cuylenborg's murder so far, but they expected he would be charged with Cook's murder at a later date.
The arrest in the 31-year investigation comes after police released a composite suspect image last month that was created using technology called snapshot DNA phenotyping.
The images showed three depictions of what the young couple's killer may have looked like at ages 25, 45 and 65.
The sheriff's office said it received more than 100 tips after the images were released.
Talbott remains in custody and was expected to appear in court later Friday.
Laura Baanstra, Jay Cook's sister, thanked investigators for their continuing efforts in the case.
"The hole that was left in our hearts will never be healed completely," she said. "From the bottom of our hearts, we deeply, deeply thank you."
Police say the investigation remains active and they're now looking to speak with anyone who knew Talbott or his activities in 1987 or 1988. They said he would have been 24 years old at the time of the murders.