A trial date has been set for a man accused of murdering a young Vancouver Island couple more than three decades ago.

William Earl Talbott, who has pleaded not guilty to two counts of aggravated first-degree murder, will face a jury in a trial that begins June 3 and could last up to four weeks.

The trial was originally scheduled to begin in early spring but was delayed.

Talbott is accused in the murders of Saanich residents Tanya Van Cuylenborg, 18, and Jay Cook, 20, after their bodies were found in Washington state's northern Snohomish County in 1987.

The pair was last seen by family members as they boarded a ferry in Victoria to Port Angeles.

Talbott's arrest came 31 years after the murders. Investigators used new technology called snapshot DNA phenotyping that compared DNA from the crime scene to an online genealogy database.

They released composite suspect images in April 2018 showing three depictions of what the killer may have looked like at ages 25, 45 and 65.

Hundreds of tips streamed in to police after the images were released, and authorities announced Talbott's arrest on May 18, 2018.