EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — A Bothell man has been arrested in connection with the unsolved 1993 murder of a teenage girl, the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office said.
Alan Dean, 62, was arrested near his home on Tuesday in the death of Melissa Lee of Bothell, news outlets reported.
Dean is being held at the Snohomish County Jail and prosecutors said they expect to formally file a first-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping charge against him. It wasn’t immediately known if Dean has a lawyer to comment for him.
Bail was set at $2 million.
Dean had been identified as a suspect in the kidnapping and murder more than 27 years ago, but until now, nothing had been conclusive enough for an arrest, the sheriff’s office said. DNA on a recently-tested cigarette matched a male genetic profile on Lee’s underwear, according to the sheriff’s office.
“I’m just happy to have lived long enough to see this happen,” said Melissa’s mother, Sharon Lee.
The case was cracked with the help of CeCe Moore, a genealogist whose genetic expertise played a key role in the groundbreaking double murder conviction in Snohomish County for the 1987 slayings of a young Canadian couple.
Lee was found dead in a ravine around on April 14, 1993, under a bridge at the west end of Everett. Her clothes were disheveled and authorities said it appeared she had been sexually assaulted.
An autopsy the next day confirmed she’d been strangled. Toxicology tests came back positive for ethyl ether, a chemical with a history of use as an anesthetic, as well as heptane, a solvent that smells like gasoline.
Snohomish County sheriff’s detectives are asking anyone who knew or knows Dean to come forward as the investigation continues.