Seattle police, 40 search and rescue volunteers from the King County Sheriff’s Office and cadaver dogs fanned out across a wooded section of Beacon Hill today to search for the remains of a young Everett woman missing since 2009.
Police recently received a tip that Kelsey Emily Collins’ remains could be found there, said Seattle Police Department Assistant Chief Jim Pugel. Authorites searched the wooded area near Jefferson Park Golf Course, 4101 Beacon Ave S., for more than seven hours without success.
Pugel declined to say who offered investigators the recent tip, but said “we have a strong reason to believe she was killed.”
Seattle police have been investigating Collins’ case since she failed to return home May 9, 2009 after visiting with a friend in Seattle. She had been living with her mother in the 1200 block of 100th Street Southwest in Everett.
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Seattle police believe Collins, an 18-year-old who attended Mariner High School, had been forced into working as a prostitute by a pimp who treated her violently. Collins vanished a week after testifying before a federal grand jury in Portland in a case being compiled against her then-36-year-old pimp. Police have never said whether they believe her disappearance was tied to the court testimony.
Pugel declined to say what has led investigators to believe that Collins was killed.
When she disappeared she did not take any of her clothing or other items that might suggest she would be gone for any length of time, police said. She has had no contact with any family members since her disappearance.