On December 14, 1991, Sarah Yarborough arrived at her Seattle, Washington,  high school early so that she could catch the 9:30 a.m. bus to take her cheerleading team to an away competition.

Sarah’s body was found at 9:15 a.m. near her school by a jogger only 150 feet away from her parked car. She had been sexually assaulted and strangled in a brushy area near Federal Way High School.

Yarborough was a popular and friendly person and was considered to be a good scholar who had scored well in her PSAT exam.

Twenty-one years later Seattle police are one step closer to catching her killer having matched crime-scene DNA samples the historic family of Robert Fuller, of Massachusetts. The Fullers settled in Salem in 1630 after arriving on the Mayflower. DNA in the Y chromosome (Y-DNA) is carried down from father to son through the centuries.

This means that one of Robert Fuller’s descendants could the killer. As you can well imagine 400 years later the number of suspects could be thousands. The police say the most important thing is having a last name. I hate to say so but for several scenarios could exist that the last name may not be Fuller, so I find this doubtful. People change their last names for a variety of reasons (beware this is my opinion).

The police have offered a drawing of a suspect who might have been about 20 years old at the time of the attack. I’ll give you a link to the Daily Mail article where you can view the sketch.

The Genetic Genealogist blog has published an interesting discussion about this story. The owner of the blog Blaine Bettinger offers an interesting observation about this case.

Click on the link The Genetic Genealogist to read Bettinger’s commentary.

Click on Daily Mail to read the article.

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1 Comment on Police hold DNA of 1991 killer that traces back to 17th century Mayflower family

  1. Ann P. says:

    This is all fascinating. I hope they find the killer but as you say name changes were common especially with folks arriving from the Old Country. Perhaps with the help of some expert genealogists they will be able to crack the case.

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