Mendocino Cold Case Heats Up: Bodies of Two Young Girls Found in 1979 Are Identified
Thirty-six and a half years ago, the bodies of two teenagers were found off Hwy 20. From that day in July 1979 until just recently, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office has been struggling to identify them
Today, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office and the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office put on a press conference to reveal new developments in this, one of their most well-known, cold cases. The two bodies, initially identified as a male and a female, are now known to be two teenage girls–Kerry Graham and Francine Trimble. The two were best friends and last seen December of 1978 in Forestville on their way to the Coddingtown Mall in Santa Rosa.
On July 8, 1979 two tourists stopped alongside Hwy 20. The man went for a walk and discovered the remains of the two teenagers. Law enforcement came to the area and recovered what were mostly bones at this time.
A single bird earring belonged to Kerry Graham was found at the scene.
Forensic work was done and for some reason the body of Francine Trimble was identified as that of a male. An artist rendered drawings of the two teenagers below with Francine drawn as a male.
More recently, investigative work with DNA and other techniques revealed the identities of the two girls. However, the cause of their death has not yet been discovered. And law enforcement is asking for the public’s assistance. If you have any information about what happened to the two girls, the tip line is (707) 234-2100.
Other Important Links:
- Click here for the BBC‘s piece that helped solve the case.
- Click here for the Mendocino Sheriff’s page on cold cases.