Reward offered in push to solve killing of Victoria couple in 1987

Investigators are hoping a new reward of $25,000 will help solve the 1987 murder of a Victoria couple who were running an errand in Washington state.

Jay Cook, 20, and his girlfriend Tanya Van Cuylenborg, 18, were found dead in Washington state 27 years ago.

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The $25,000 reward for information that could lead to an arrest has been offered by supporters anonymously.

“We’re looking to get the family some closure, if we can,” said Saanich police Sgt. Steve Eassie. Saanich police continue to work with Washington police on the case, he said.

On Nov. 18, 1987, the Oak Bay High School graduates travelled from Victoria to Port Angeles on the Coho ferry. They drove a van, borrowed from Cook’s father, to pick up furnace parts for his father.

They were last seen in the Bremerton-Seattle area and on Nov. 20, they were reported missing.

Van Cuylenborg’s body was found four days later on a rural road near Alger in Skagit County. She had been sexually assaulted, then shot in the head.

On Nov. 26, Cook’s body was found south of Alger, near Monroe in Snohomish County. He had been beaten and strangled.

Their van was later discovered beside a Greyhound station in Bellingham and some of Van Cuylenborg’s belongings were found behind a local tavern.

Investigators are asking anyone with information to come forward. “If you can help, now is the time,” Eassie said.

“It may be that your situation that stopped you from coming forward in the past has since changed, and now is your opportunity.”

Contact your local RCMP or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

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