Hopes for closure for the relatives of missing Ann Marie Burr were dashed Tuesday, when authorities said there was not enough amplifiable DNA to link her disappearance over 50 years ago to Ted Bundy.
The young Washington State girl, long considered a possible victim of the notorious serial killer, has been missing since she was 8 years old.
Weeks ago, there was a glimmer of hope that this 50-year-old mystery would be solved when police sent the Washington State Patrol Crime Laboratory several key pieces of evidence from the case.
Authorities were hoping to develop a DNA profile of the suspect that they could compare to a profile that was recently obtained from a vial of Bundy's blood. It took several weeks for the tests to be conducted. Police are now saying the evidence did not contain enough measurable DNA to yield a complete profile, the Bellingham Herald reported.
"This avenue hit a dead end, but the investigation itself is not over," Tacoma Police Department spokesman Mark Fulghum told the Herald.
Ann Marie was taken from her family's Tacoma home on Aug. 31, 1961. Police believe her abductor entered through an unlocked window, grabbed the young girl and left through the front door, which was left ajar. Investigators discovered a faint footprint outside the window, which they believe was from a size 6 or 7 sneaker.
"I was awakened early in the morning with men shining flashlights in my face. They were the police," Ann Marie's sister, Julie Burr, told KOMO 4 News. "Seeing my parents running through the kitchen opening drawers and looking under beds looking for my sister -- I remember that like it happened yesterday."
Burr added, "I think we spent most of our weekends [after that] going out looking for her."
Ann Marie Burr
Authorities interviewed several persons of interest, but were unable to determine what happened to Ann Marie.
Bundy lived only a few blocks from Ann Marie's home. He had a paper route in the area and would often visit a neighboring uncle. Bundy was only 14 years old at the time of Ann Marie's abduction and was not considered a potential suspect.
It was not until years later, when Bundy was arrested for multiple homicides, that authorities began to take a close look at him.
Bundy is believed to have murdered dozens of women in Utah, Idaho, Washington and Colorado throughout the 1970s. He was captured in Florida in 1978 following the murders of two college students and a 12-year-old girl. Bundy received the death penalty for the Florida crimes.
Before his execution, Bundy confessed to killing more than 50 women. Some suspect Ann Marie was his first victim. During Bundy's confessions, former King County detective Bob Keppel unsuccessfully tried to get the serial killer to talk about his first kill.
"We'll have to bring that up, do that some other time. If there is another time," Bundy replied, according to recorded confessions obtained by KIRO-TV.
There was no other time. Bundy was executed on Jan. 24, 1989.
Ann Marie's father died in 2003 and her mother in 2008. Both the young girls' parents went to their graves without knowing what happened to their daughter.
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