Washington man convicted in 1987 killings of Canadian couple

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — A Washington state man has been found guilty in the 1987 killings of a young Canadian couple.

Seattle TV station KOMO reports that jurors deliberated for more than two days before reaching their verdict Friday against William Earl Talbott II in the trial that hinged on 32-year-old DNA evidence and genealogical technology.

Talbott had been arrested last year in the deaths of 18-year-old Tanya Van Cuylenborg and her boyfriend, 20-year-old Jay Cook.

Prosecutor Justin Harleman told jurors that once Talbott became a suspect, investigators tailed him, saw him discard a coffee cup and then tested the DNA from the cup, confirming it matched evidence from the crime.

Van Cuylenborg and Cook disappeared in November 1987 during what was supposed to be an overnight trip from their hometown of Saanich, British Columbia, to Seattle.


This story has been corrected to show Talbott’s name was misspelled on second reference.

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