A 14-year-old girl who ran away from her Denver home 36 years ago has been revealed to be the youngest victim of the Green River killer.
The young girl who ran away in 1983 was Wendy Stephens, whose remains were found a year later, according to the King County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO).
However, Wendy’s mother, Cecile Gaspar, only found out when detectives from the Seattle King County Sheriff’s Office showed up at her door in October 2020.
In a recent interview with The New York Times, upon learning what had happened to her daughter, Cecile said: “I was able to hold it together to the end, when my defenses finally cracked.
“How can anyone wrap their head around their daughter who was killed by a serial killer?”
Cecile learned that her daughter, previously identified by authorities as Jane Doe B-10, was one of the 49 women killed by serial killer Gary Leon Ridgway – better known as the Green River Killer.
Gary’s victims included teenage girls murdered in the 1980s and 1990s, with most of his crimes occurring between 1982 and 1984.
He is believed to have killed 71 teenage girls and women – allegedly either sex workers or runaways – although in court testimony he admitted to having killed so many he had lost count.
As for Wendy, who was born on October 10, 1986 to Cecile and her then-husband Carles Stephens, who died in 2014, her mother describes her as an easygoing and “magical child.”
And when Wendy was 11, she moved to suburban Denver with her mother and second husband, Alan Hodde, who died in 2010.
“People were not strangers to her. Everyone was a potential friend,” Cecile explained, noting that her daughter had no problem making friends at a new school. “I was always scared for her because she was like that.”
However, Cecile recalls that Wendy’s attitude changed over time as she had other friends, skipped school and spent time alone in the basement.
“She went through those rebellious times,” Cecile said, admitting she didn’t know what prompted her daughter to behave differently or “just scoot.”
Cecile added: “There would be no foresight. She would go without a coat in winter.”
The last time Wendy ran away from home was in August 1983, and Cecile never saw her daughter again.
“I contacted the police. They recorded a report, submitted it. I molested her a few times. I was thinking of putting her on a milk carton,” Cecile explained, but her search efforts didn’t work.
Unbeknownst to Cecile, her daughter’s remains were found in 1984 in an area that is now part of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
Wendy’s remains were then identified as the Jane Doe B-10 or Bones 10 in a swampy area of a baseball field – a location where other remains were discovered.
Detective Tom Jensen recounted that on March 21, 1984, the King County Sheriff’s Office in Washington State received the following call: “The guy who runs the Little League baseball field in Burien said a dog just came up with a bone come home.”
Two bodies were ultimately found in this area, 18-year-old Cheryl Wims and Jane Doe B-10 (Wendy’s).
As recently as spring 2020, Wendy’s unidentified remains were sent to a forensic lab in Santa Cruz, California for DNA testing.
Finally, in September 2020, the Doe Project shared the DNA kit with the public gene banks – resulting in Cecile’s DNA matching Wendy’s previously unidentified remains.
Cecile received her daughter’s ashes in early 2021 and scattered them near her home in Colorado.
The Green River Killer
Gary Leon Ridgway, now 73, was introduced to crime when he was young. At the age of 16, Gary stabbed a six-year-old boy he had let into the woods. Fortunately, the child survived.
After graduating from Tyee High School in 1969, Gary married his high school sweetheart, Claudia Kraig, before joining the United States Navy.
During the Vietnam War, he served aboard a supply ship, where he frequently had intercourse with sex workers.
This caused him to contract gonorrhea and, although upset by his condition, continued his activities without any protection.
This eventually led to his first marriage falling apart within a year.
He found love again in the arms of Marcia Winslow, whom he married. The couple welcomed a son named Matthew in 1975.
During his second marriage, Gary became highly religious and did door-to-door evangelism.
Despite his firm beliefs, he continued to seek the services of sex workers and encouraged his wife to engage in risky sexual activity in public and inappropriate places.
Some experts have speculated that Gary was torn between his desires and his beliefs.
When asked about Gary after his arrest in 2001, friends and family described him as friendly but odd.
Women in his life claimed that he had an insatiable sexual appetite and that his first two marriages ended in divorce due to infidelity.
Before his arrest on November 30, 2001, Gary worked at a truck factory in Renton, Washington.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6543751/green-river-killer-missing-girl-wendy-stephens/ Horrifying details after a teenage girl missing for 36 years was revealed as the latest victim of the Green River killer