Investigators from four Western states said they have found possible links between the eastern Idaho death of a woman last year and several unsolved killings in the region this decade.
At a meeting in Salt Lake City last week, law enforcement officials from Utah, Wyoming, Idaho and Nevada compared several cases and found a number of similarities.They determined that "a number of the homicides are probably of a serial type killing," said Sheriff Byron Stommel of Bonneville County, Idaho.
The body of 18-year-old Tonya Teske was found last August in Bonneville County at a highway on-ramp near Ucon. The cause of her death was never given, but authorities have treated it as a homicide.
Since shortly after her death, investigators have been trying to determine whether her killer might also have murdered seven other women in Nevada, Utah and Wyoming.
All the victims were found near Interstates 15, 80 and 90 and appeared to have been dumped after death, and all showed signs of physical and sexual abuse.
Also, all the women were said to have hitchhiked often and traveled with truck drivers. Most were in their 20s or 30s, and most died of multiple gunshot wounds or strangulation.
Officials said the traveling habits of the victims made the investigations difficult. It took authorities 10 days to identify Teske's body, and some of the victims have not been identified.