The culprit, the Lane County Sheriff’s office said Thursday, was a man who killed himself in Arizona earlier this year.
KOIN reports that North Eugene High School students Lliana Gay Adank and Eric Shawn Goldstrand went to a picnic grounds on June 9, 1977. Their parents called the Lane County Sheriff’s Office when they didn’t come home.
Adank, who was 16, was sexually assaulted and shot to death in a secluded area. Goldstrand’s body was found in nearby brush. Police say the 17-year-old had also been shot to death.
Police searched the area and put up roadblocks at the time but the teens’ killer wasn’t found. Fingerprints and latent DNA samples from the crime scene were collected, but there were no matches at the time.
The suspect’s DNA was sent back for analysis in July of 2020 using modernized genealogical technology — and a match was made.
The DNA results identified former area resident Ronald Albert Shroy. Shroy was 23 years old at the time of the murders. Investigators said he moved out of Oregon in the early 1980s and had been living in Mesa, Arizona since 2008.
Authorities were preparing to arrest Shroy and present the case to a grand jury when Shroy was reportedly involved in an unrelated domestic violence incident and took his own life on Feb. 24, 2021.
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