Kelli Kay McGinness
Above Images: McGinness, circa 1983
Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: June 28, 1983 from Seattle, Washington
Classification: Endangered Missing
Date Of Birth: April 17, 1965
Age: 18 years old
Height and Weight: 5'5, 155 - 160 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian female. Blonde hair, blue/green eyes. McGinness has a stocky build. She may spell her first name "Keli" or "Kelly." McGinness's name is spelled "McGinnis" by some agencies. She may use the aliases Patricia L. Decater, Patricia L. Dequier, Kelly K. Dice, Andrea Marie Hampton, Jennifer L. Hynes, Martin Marie Jackson, Jennifer Louise Kauffman, Jennifer Kaufman, Annette London, Kelly K. Mabich, Mary Ann McClinton, Susan M McGinn, Andrea McGinness, Dawn Michelle Murdoch, Kim J. Scott, Susan M. Watkins, Ann Wilson, Deborah Wilson and/or Kelly K. Zabana. She also uses several alias birthdates.
Clothing/Jewelry Description: A tan short-sleeved sweater, a long tan camel-hair coat, and blue jeans.
Details of Disappearance
McGinness was last seen leaving The Three Bears Motel in Seattle, Washington on June 28, 1983. The motel was located at southbound Interstate 216 and Pacific Highway. McGinness was a prostitute in the area and planned to work the area near South 216th Street that evening. She has never been heard from again. Her pimp reported her as a missing person two days after her initial disappearance.
At first it was believed that McGinness might have left of her own accord. She was considered a "high-class" prostitute and was very successful financially, and sometimes stated that she wished to get off the streets and lead a more respectable life. She told her mother that if she ever left Seattle, she would probably never return. However, McGinness left her young daughter, whom she was devoted to, behind when she vanished. She had placed the child in a foster home temporarily while she was serving a short jail sentence for prostitution, and was looking forward to picking her back up. McGinness's daughter was eventually adopted by another family.
Investigators soon came to the conclusion that McGinness may have been a victim of the Green River serial killer(s). Other possible victims of the murderer(s) may include Pammy Annette Avent, April Dawn Buttram, Marie Molina Malvar, Patricia Ann LeBlanc, Kristi Vorak, Kase Lee, Rebecca Marrero, and Patricia Osborn. Avent's body was located in August 2003, twenty years after she was reported missing. Buttram's and Malvar's bodies were found in September 2003 after the two women had been missing for almost two decades. None of the other women have been located and all cases remain unsolved.
Gary Leon Ridgway was charged with aggravated murder in four of the deaths linked to the Green River killer(s) in December 2001. Photos of Ridgway are posted below this case summary. Ridgway had been one of the suspects in the case since 1984. Authorities questioned him that year after witnesses placed him with two of the victims and his pickup truck was identified as being at the scene of the victims' last known locations.
Ridgway's home was searched in 1987 and he provided a saliva sample at that time. DNA testing was performed on the saliva in 2001 and matched three of the victims: Opal Mills, Marcia Chapman and Cynthia Hinds. The women's bodies had been discovered in the Green River near Seattle in August 1982. Ridgway was allegedly connected to the fourth victim, Carol Christensen, through circumstantial evidence.
Ridgway was arrested twice for soliciting prostitution; once in 1982 and again in October 2001. Many of the Green River victims were runaways or prostitutes. A 1980 charge against Ridgway was dropped when a prostitute claimed he choked her. Ridgway told authorities that he attacked her in self-defense, as she was allegedly biting him. One of his former wives came forward after his 2001 arrest and claimed that Ridgway preferred to have sexual relations outdoors. She also said that he often employed a chokehold while engaged in sexual activity. A prostitute who stated Ridgway paid her for sex in the early 1980s supported the story, stating that he attempted to choke her during intercourse.
Ridgway's residence and his parents' home were searched after his 2001 arrest. Authorities discovered an envelope containing bone fragments, tufts of human hair, numerous blood stains, boxes of latex gloves, costume jewelry and several wigs. Many of the assumed Green River victims were missing jewelry and/or wigs at the time their remains were discovered.
Ridgway is married and his neighbors considered him to be a family-oriented individual. Profilers have said that he does not fit the mold of most accused serial killers, as he did not seek attention for his crimes.
Prosecutors announced in April 2002 that they would seek the death penalty in Ridgway's case. Authorities have located several of his former vehicles and purchased his pickup truck and camper from their current owners in May 2002. A photo of his truck is posted below this case summary. Ridgway owned the truck during the early 1980s, the time when many of the victims disappeared or were discovered deceased. Investigators stated that they hoped to uncover evidence related to the murder cases inside the vehicles.
In a surprise move, Ridgway pleaded guilty to 48 counts of murder in November 2003. He agreed to cooperate with authorities in exchange for them dropping the death penalty specifications against him. It was he that led them to the bodies of Buttram, Avent and Malvar. Ridgway will serve life in prison with parole instead of facing execution. With his cooperation investigators hope to uncover the remains of the other victims.
Left: Ridgway's 1982 mugshot; Right: Ridgway's 2001 mugshot
Above: Ridgway's pickup truck
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
King County Sheriff's Office
The Green River Killer Suspect Information Pages
The Crime Library
The Seattle Times
KIRO-7 Eyewitness News
California Attorney General's Office
Green River, Running Red by Ann Rule
Washington State Missing Persons
Updated 3 times since October 12, 2004.
Last updated September 29, 2007; distinguishing characteristics updated.
Charley Project Home