Thursday, February 12, 1998 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Pacific Northwest

New Technology Used In Probes

Seattle Times Staff: Seattle Times News Services

KENNEWICK - Benton County law-enforcement officers are reopening the 23-year-old homicide investigations of two young women, hoping new DNA technology will help solve the crimes.

Dianne Merckx and Shannon Varley, both 20, disappeared in 1975 in separate incidents, apparently from Columbia Park along the Columbia River. Their bodies were later found in remote locations.

Investigators interviewed dozens of people, but never solved the crimes.

The resurrected investigation began in November, and authorities are taking blood, hair and saliva samples from a handful of suspects.

Copyright (c) 1998 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.


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