November 23, 2011 in City

Detectives retrieve Weflen’s locker items

Contents photographed and put into evidence
By The Spokesman-Review
 
Christopher Anderson photoBuy this photo

Spokane County sheriff’s Detectives Mike Drapeau, left, and Mike Ricketts carry a container filled with material from the work locker of Julie Weflen from the Bonneville Power Administration’s Bell Substation on Tuesday. Weflen disappeared Sept. 16, 1987.
(Full-size photo)

Map of this story's location

Despite the passing of nearly 25 years, the disappearance of Bonneville Power Administration employee Julie Weflen has apparently never been far from people’s minds.

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office still fields one or two tips per year, Sgt. Bill Beeman said Tuesday. “They are followed up on, and they lead nowhere,” Beeman said.

But sheriff’s detectives have higher hopes for the most recent tip, from a group of Weflen’s co-workers.

On Tuesday, detectives retrieved items BPA workers found in a padlocked locker Weflen kept at BPA’s G.H. Bell Substation and Maintenance Complex in Mead. Former co-workers think the locker has been left untouched since her disappearance in 1987, until a recent remodel when the padlock was cut off.

Authorities won’t say what they found in the dark-colored storage bin Tuesday; the items were photographed and taken into evidence.

“We may find something in there that will lead us to a person to talk to,” Beeman said. “It could lead to more witnesses.”

Weflen went missing about 3:30 p.m. on Sept. 16, 1987. She was one of three women who disappeared during an 18-month period in the mid-1980s whose disappearances are unsolved.

Weflen’s case received national attention, including a chapter in Ann Rule’s 2004 book, “Kiss Me, Kill Me.”

“She was just gone, and we’ve been looking for her ever since,” Beeman said.

Beeman was not sure if previous investigators had checked the locker at the substation. He said a call to past detectives may be in order.

Detective Mike Ricketts is the fourth detective to take the lead as investigator.

Beeman said information on the locker’s contents likely won’t be released for a week or two.

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