In 1992, Bill Clinton was on his way to winning the White House, and “Aladdin,” the animated musical about a street urchin who falls in love with a princess, was the country’s top-grossing film.
On a September evening that year, as Huey Lewis & The News were headlining at the Puyallup Fair (now the Washington State Fair), a 14-year-old Spanaway girl vanished as she left for home.
Though Misty Copsey has long been presumed dead, Puyallup police are seeking photos and videos shot by fairgoers on Sept. 17, 1992, in hopes of digging up clues in the 21-year-old cold case.
Misty was last seen by a bus driver around 9:20 p.m. that night after spending the day at the fair with a friend.
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In 1993, searchers found jeans, underwear and a sock thought to belong to the teen in an area where two girls’ bodies had been found earlier.
“My professional instincts lead me to believe that she’s more than likely deceased,” King County homicide Detective Jim Doyon said in a 1996 interview.
At the time, Doyon theorized that Misty was killed by the same person who killed Anna Chebetnoy and Kimberly DeLange, two teenagers last seen in Puyallup.
The girls’ bodies were found along Highway 410, near the spot where Misty’s clothing was found.
Doyon noted that two years and one month separate each disappearance: Kimberly was last seen in July 1988; Anna in August 1990; and Misty in September 1992.
Detectives with the department’s criminal investigations division are looking for photos and videos of fairgoers who were not known to the person capturing the images, Engle said.
It is hoped the 21-year-old photos could provide detectives with new information about Copsey’s “activities and contacts” in the hours before she disappeared.
Photos and videos can be emailed to Detective Don Bourbon at firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to Detective Bourbon’s attention at the Puyallup Police Department, 311 W. Pioneer Ave., Puyallup, WA 98371.
Information from The Seattle Times archives is included in this report.