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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Zina Linnik Murdered,Killer may be linked to 5 other Missing/Murdered Children

Revisiting unsolved cases of 2 Tacoma-area girls

The abduction of Teekah Lewis, 2, and the abduction and slaying of Adre'anna Jackson, 10, have frustrated Tacoma-area police for years.

But the arrest of Terapon Dang Adhahn in the July 4 abduction and slaying of Zina Linnik, 12, could also signal a break in the two other cases. Tacoma Police Chief Don Ramsdell said investigators are trying to determine whether Adhahn could have some connection with other abductions, including those of the two Tacoma-area girls.

Some of those cases include:

• Michella Welch, 12, of Tacoma, whose body was found hours after the girl disappeared from Puget Park on March 26, 1986.

• Jennifer Bastian, 13, of Tacoma, who was found dead Aug. 28, 1986, in Point Defiance Park, where she'd been last seen riding her bicycle two weeks earlier.

• Lenoria Jones, 4, of Tacoma, who disappeared July 20, 1995.

Here's a look at the Teekah Lewis and Adre'anna Jackson cases.

Teekah Lewis

Teekah disappeared from Frontier Bowling Lanes in Tacoma around 10:30 p.m. on Jan. 23, 1999. The girl's mother told police she saw her daughter standing near the bowling lanes' video games. When she looked back, Teekah was gone.

Police at first thought the little girl had wandered off. But when an extensive search of the area turned up nothing, the girl's disappearance began to look more like an abduction and no one — including relatives — was immune from suspicion.

Tacoma police later said the family was ruled out as suspects. But despite a 24-hour tip line and interviews with people who were at the lanes that night, no suspect has emerged.

In 2001, the girl's mother, Theresa Lewis, was asked to provide a DNA sample to match against the body of an unidentified dead child found in Kansas City, Mo. The child was not Teekah.

In April 2006, Theresa Lewis was notified by a private investigator that he had found a girl he believed to be Teekah living with a woman in Dallas. The investigator, who was hired by the Lewis family more than a year earlier, sent her photos of the girl, she said.

"We compared her picture to my twins and other children, and we think it's her," Lewis said. "We feel in our hearts that it's her."

But DNA testing proved the girl was not Teekah.

On Friday, Theresa Lewis came to the Linnik home to offer support. When she heard that Adhahn could be connected to her daughter's disappearance, she was too distraught to speak.

Adre'anna Jackson

Adre'anna was last seen Dec. 2, 2005, when her parents sent her off on a five-minute walk to see whether Tillicum Elementary School was closed because of snow. Police spent days searching her neighborhood and scoured nearby American Lake for any sign of the girl.

Two children found a skull and a portion of a spinal column in a vacant, overgrown lot near Woodbrook Middle School on April 4, 2006. The remains were identified by dental records as those of Adre'anna Jackson.

Investigators could not determine the cause of death.

A 44-year-old transient was questioned about the disappearance and death, but it was determined he was in jail on an unrelated matter from the time the girl went missing.

Reached at home this afternoon, Adre'anna's mother, Yvette Gervais, said she thought there were physical similarities between her daughter and Zina Linnik.

"We're just sitting here and hoping that, if it is him, there will be some closure," she said. "At least someone has been apprehended and that's one more person that's not going to do this to more families."

Information from Seattle Times staff reporters Christine Clarridge and Roxana Popescu, Times archives and The Associated Press is included in this report.

Seattle Times Link

For more information on the children listed click on their Highlighted names.


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