On a summer afternoon in 1977, Lliana Gay Adank, 16, and Eric Shawn Goldstrand, 17, ventured east away from their home in Eugene out to the Broken Bowl picnic grounds at Fall Creek.
They never came home.
Lane County Sheriff’s deputies found Adank’s body in the picnic area. She had been sexually assaulted and then shot. They found Goldstrand’s body hours later in nearby brush.
On Thursday, 44 years later, Lane County Sheriff’s officials announced they had identified the teens’ killer using DNA found at the scene over decades ago. Detective Kurt Wuest, who was first assigned the case in 1983, was on the volunteer cold case team when Shroy was identified.
New genealogical technology helped investigators identify fingerprints they had submitted to a lab last summer as those of killer Ronald Albert Shroy.
Police believe Shroy, who was 23 at the time, was a Lane County resident when he killed the two North Eugene High School Students.
However, he took his own life in February of this year during an unrelated domestic violence incident in Mesa, Arizona, where he had lived since 2008. Investigators never had the chance to charge him with a crime earlier.
Cold cases like this one are investigated by the Lane County Sheriff’s department volunteers funded through donations, which also funded the DNA tests that identified Shroy.