The bridge where Wendy Lee Coffield was found.
Crime Scene Location in Kent, Washington, United States.
This is the location where the body of Wendy Lee Coffield was found.
Coffield is believed to be the first victim of serial killer Gary Ridgway, who claimed the lives of at least 49 women between 1982 and 1998.
On July 15th, 1982, two 15-year-old boys were cycling over the Meeker Street Bridge when they spotted a body floating in the water.
The victim was Wendy Lee Coffield, a 16-year-old girl from Puyallup.
The medical examiner's office determined that the young girl had been strangled to death and then thrown into the Green River, where she remained in the water for several days.
Ridgway's decision to dump his victims in this river earned him the nickname "the Green River Killer."
Coffield's body was badly decomposed. Because she was reported missing on July 8th, 1982, it is likely that she had been dead for at least a week.
The teenage girl was a runaway who had recently escaped from a juvenile detention center in Pierce County. According to the police, she had a history of prostitution.
When the police recovered Coffield's remains from the water, they had no idea that this was just the beginning of a nightmare that would stretch on for more than a decade. Before the year was over, Ridgeway went on to claim the lives of 15 women.
Where was Wendy Lee Coffield found?
Below, you will find the address and the GPS coordinates for this location.
The latitude and longitude coordinates for the bridge are:
To view directions on how to get there, you can use the Google Maps shortcut below:
The full address for this location is:
Meeker Street Bridge
West Meeker Street
The bridge is close to Riverfront Park. It lies 260 yards east of Kent Des Moines Road. A number of sources refer to the bridge as "Peck Bridge".
Details about the general area.
Kent is a small city that is situated to the south of SeaTac.
Photos of the bridge and other related images.
Wendy Lee Coffield's body was found underneath this bridge.
The 16-year-old was found floating underneath this bridge. The inset photograph in the top right-hand corner shows the police removing her body from the river.
Sadly, this was just the beginning of Ridgway's killing spree.
Meeker Street Bridge.
Two teenage boys were cycling across the Meeker Street Bridge in Kent, Washington, when they spotted something floating in the water. After taking a closer look, they realized that it was a dead body.
This newspaper clipping is from the Spokesman Review. It was published on August 19th, 1982, just over a month after Wendy's remains were discovered.
By the time this article was published, the bodies of four more sex workers had turned up in the Green River.
Wendy was a runaway who had a history of prostitution. According to her mother, Virginia, she had dropped out of school in junior high.
During Wendy's childhood, the pair lived in poverty, moving from one low-rent apartment to the next. At one stage, they lived in a tent and attempted to make money by selling blackberries that they had foraged.
At the time of her death, the 16-year-old was reportedly living in a foster home.
Tacoma News Tribune.
According to this newspaper article in the Tacoma News Tribune, Wendy was partially clothed.
The medical examiner's office determined that she had been strangled.
The police got a lead on her identity after they published photographs of her tattoos in local newspapers. A few days later, a tattoo artist came forward to say that he recognized them.
Shortly afterwards, she was positively identified by her mother.
During his confession, Ridgway stated that he picked the young girl up on a highway. They then drove out to his "usual spot", where they had sex in his truck. At one point, he claimed that he "got behind her" and started choking her.
"I'm saying, stop moving and I'll let you go. And that was over and over again. But I wasn't going to let her go."
After strangling Wendy to death, he dragged her down to the river and pushed her into it.
Interestingly, when the murders first started, some police officers theorized that they might be related to a "pimp war" or "drug involvement."
This is a "Bird's Eye" aerial image of the bridge, which is also known as Peck Bridge. Image courtesy of Bing Maps.
On July 15th, 1982, Gallan Hirschi and his friend Robert spent the day riding their bikes.
While they were cycling home, they noticed that an object was stuck against an old post in the river.
At first, it looked like a bag. However, after wading out to take a closer look, they saw human hair and a jacket.
According to Gallan, the body was on the southern side of the bridge.
To this day, he doesn't like the sight of hair under water.
This location belongs to the following categories:Crime ScenesSerial Killers
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