A suspect in the case of a missing 12-year-old Tacoma girl directed police to her body today, ending a week-long search after her July 4...
A suspect in the case of a missing 12-year-old Tacoma girl directed police to her body today, ending a week-long search after her July 4 abduction that drew national attention.
“It is with great regret and sorrow that I am informing our community that we have located the body of Zina Linnik,” said Tacoma Police Chief Don Ramsdell, reading from a prepared statement tonight.
Ramsdell said information provided by the suspect led police and FBI investigators to the girl’s body. Court records name the man as 42-year-old Terapon Dang Adhahn, a convicted sex offender who has been in custody on an unrelated immigration matter since Monday. He had not been charged in Zina’s abduction or death as of Thursday night.
Ramsdell would not say where the girl’s body was found, other than it was somewhere in Pierce County.
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“Crime scene investigators are currently processing the scene for evidence as the investigation continues,” he said.
Police outside the family’s home tonight said family members did not want to comment.
Zina, one of eight children in her family, was abducted from an alley behind the family’s home the night of July 4, police said.
About 9:45 p.m. that night, her father, Mikhail Linnik, heard a scream, according to a police report. When he went to the alley, he saw an Asian man get into a gray van parked nearby and drive off, the report says.
The investigation led officers to Adhahn, who drove a gray van with recently-changed license plates registered to another car. State Department of Corrections records say Adhahn is an Asian-Pacific Islander.
In 1990, he was charged with violently raping a 16-year-old relative, according to court records. He pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of first-degree incest in exchange for completing 60 months of sexual-deviancy counseling.
Adhahn was arrested Monday on an unrelated immigration matter, and was charged Monday with failing to register as a sex offender.
In his Tacoma home, police found girls underwear and other items, which they said are being tested. He is currently being held at a local federal detention facility, Ramsdell said.
The Linniks moved to Tacoma from the Ukraine about 10 years ago. During the search, they said Wednesday, they put their faith in God and the police that she would be found safely.
Said Ramsdell tonight: “We never lost hope that the final outcome of this investigation would bring Zina safely home to her family. We will continue to put forth our best effort to bring the perpetrator of this senseless and horrific crime to justice.”
Information from Seattle Times archives is included in this story.
Brian Alexander: 206-464-2026 or email@example.com