FEDERAL WAY -- An empty bench sits in front of Federal Way High School. It's a memorial to a 16-year-old taken too young.

Jean Licari was a teacher at Federal High back then and still is today. She knew Sarah Yarborough from a leadership camp that happened just a few months before the girl's body was found at the high school.

She was nice to everybody, not a mean bone in her body, Licari said.

Licari says the killing was a life changing experience for her because it opened her eyes to what really existed in the world.

Sarah had shown up early on a Saturday morning to catch the bus for a dance competition but instead Detective Scott Tompkins says, she encountered the suspect on school grounds. She was attacked and killed, her body found in a brushy area.

Twenty years later, Jean has hope new technology cold case detectives are using in the King County Sheriff's Office will help catch Sarah's killer.

For the first time, detectives can now scan old palm prints and enter them into a system to see if they'll match anyone palm-printed in the past. They believe the technology will make a difference in Sarah's case because back in 1991 the suspect was spotted peering into windows and trying to open doors. The hope is one of the palm prints lifted then will get a hit in the database now.

This opens the door for a lot of new leads in cases that were previously at a dead end, said Tompkins.

That type of closure is so important for her family and for the school, and just me individually to have that kind of closure, Licari said.


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