The Yakima County coroner has released a digital portrait of a woman whose remains were found in the Lower Yakima Valley in 1988 in hopes she is recognized and can be identified.
Known as Parker Doe because she was found near the unincorporated town of Parker, the woman was discovered by a horseback rider on Feb. 16, 1988, close to a dirt road that leads from Parker Bridge Road to the Sunnyside Diversion Dam on the Yakima River.
She is believed to be Native and 30 to 39 years old. Doe was a petite woman, estimated to be around 5 feet tall and weighing less than 120 pounds.
The cause of death is undetermined, said Coroner Jim Curtice, but the manner is presumed homicide because of where Doe’s skeletal remains were found. Authorities estimated she lay there for around four to 10 months.
“I am prayerful that we may find a presumptive family member for DNA testing to finally identify this person,” Curtice said in a news release.
Doe’s remains were buried in 1989 west of Yakima at West Hills Memorial Park, and Curtice hopes to exhume her remains as soon as possible. Her skull was transferred from Central Washington University to the King County Medical Examiner’s Office earlier this summer after concerns were raised about improper storage of potential forensic human remains at the university.
Natalie Murry, a forensic artist who lives in Texas, created the new portrait of Doe. The former law enforcement officer has been a leader in efforts to develop and refine digital means of generating forensic art services, according to her website.
Curtice asks those who may recognize Doe to contact the Yakima County Coroner’s Office at 509-574-1610 or the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office at 509-574-2500.