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.
MORE INFAMOUS SERIAL KILLERS
Notorious cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer sits with his defense team during his 1991 trial. Dahmer went on a killing spree in the 1980s during which he murdered 17 men and boys. He often had sex with the corpses before dismembering them and, in some cases, ate pieces of human flesh. After his conviction, Dahmer was killed by a fellow inmate in prison.
John Wayne Gacy was arrested in 1978 after murdering 33 men and boys. He was known as the "Killer Clown" for his work as a children's entertainer. When Gacy became the suspect in a young man's disappearance, he invited police to his home for coffee. Cops noticed a smell that could emanate from a decaying body. They returned with a search warrant and found 29 victims stuffed into crawlspaces.
David Berkowitz, the "Son of Sam" killer, terrorized New York with six murders and several other shootings that ended with his 1977. When police arrested him, Berkowitz, a mailman, said his neighbor's dog commanded him to strike. He's in Sing Sing prison In New York serving life, though he's eligible for parole.
Angelo Buono, a 47 year old auto upholsterer, sits in a Los Angeles courtroom Monday March 2, 1982 as he listens to opening arguments in the so called "Hillside Stranglings" case in which Buono is accused of killing 10 women and girls in the Los Angeles area between 1977 and 1978.
Ted Bundy at one time in the 1970s had a bright future in the Washington State Republican Party, but instead became one of the most famous serial killers and necrophiliacs. He often deceived his victims, all women, into thinking that he was injured and in need of help before attacking them. In 1976 he was arrested for an attempted kidnapping, but while acting as his own lawyer, he escaped. He migrated to Tallahassee where he killed two women in a Florida State University sorority house. He was convicted of those murders and while on death row in 1989 he confessed to 50 other murders. Correction: A previous version of this slide misstated the location of the Florida State murders as Pensacola, Fla.
Aileen Wuornos admitted to killing six men while she worked as a prostitute in Florida in 1989 and 1990. She initially claimed that she acted in self defense against johns who raped her or tried to rape her. But later she admitted that she robbed and killed in cold blood and would do it again if she were free. She was executed in 2002.
Anthony Sowell was convicted and sentenced to death in 2011 for killing 11 women and keeping their remains in his Cleveland home.
In this file photo taken Oct. 24, 1985, "Night Stalker" Richard Ramirez displays a pentagram symbol on his hand inside a Los Angeles courtroom. The California Supreme Court Monday< Aug. 7, 2006, upheld the convictions and death sentence for serial killer Richard Ramirez, the so-called "Night Stalker" whose killing spree terrorized the Los Angeles area in the mid 1980s. Ramirez, now 46, was sentenced to death in 1989 for 13 Los Angeles-area murders committed in 1984 and 1985. Satanic symbols were left at some murder scenes and some victims were forced to "swear to Satan" by the killer, who broke into homes through unlocked windows and doors. (AP Photo/Lennox McLendon)
Andrew Cunanan is seen in this 1997 mugshot from the FBI. Cunanan murdered five men from Minneapolis to Miami, including fashion designer Gianni Versace. As investigators closed in on him, Cunanan committed suicide in 1997.
Edward Gein, 51, of Plainfield, Wisc. enters Central State Hospital for the Criminally Insane Nov. 23,1957, in Milwaukee. Gein admitted to slaying two women and dismembering their bodies as well as robbing graves. Gein flayed the bodies and used human skin and other body parts to decorate furniture and clothing in his decrepit farmhouse. His twisted tale was the inspiration for murders in movies like Buffalo Bill from "The Silence of the Lambs."
Gary Ridgeway slew 48 women in the Seattle area from 1982 to 1998. He was known as the Green River Killer, because his first five victims were found near the waterway. The case was one of the longest unsolved murder mysteries in the country, not to mention one of the bloodiest. Ridgeway pleaded guilty in 2003 and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Albert Fish was a child rapist and cannibal who confessed to torturing hundreds of children, beginning in 1880 in New York. He was convicted and sentenced to death in 1935 for the murder of a single girl, however, 10-year-old Grace Budd. During the trial, Fish said he heard voices in his head that told him to attack children. CORRECTION: A previous version of this slide incorrectly stated that she was the daughter of Fish's employee.
Early on his life, Coral Eugene Watts was identified by psychiatrists as a dangerous and violent individual. He lived up to those warnings as the so-called Sunday Morning Slasher and confessed to killing 80 women in Michigan, Texas and Canada in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He strangled, drowned, stabbed and beat his victims. He died in 2007 in prison from prostate cancer while serving a life sentence for two of the Michigan murders.
Richard Angelo, a nurse at Good Samaritan Hospital in New York, killed 25 patients in a bungled plan to turn himself into a hero. Angelo injected patients with a cocktail of dangerous drugs with the plan of restoring them to life and burnishing his reputation as a life-saving medical professional. Only 12 patients survived the "Angel of Death."
This is an undated booking photo released by the Washoe County Sheriff's office showing Joseph Naso. Authorities in California and Nevada plan to release more information about Naso, the 77-year-old man accused in four homicides spanning two decades. Naso, of Reno, Nev., was booked late Monday, April 11, 2011, on suspicion of the killings in 1977, 1978, 1993 and 1994.