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Victims of cold case identified 36 years later

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UKIAH, Calif. - On Tuesday, the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office held a press conference on a 36-year-old cold case.

In 1979, the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office found the remains of two people, which weren't identified until November of 2015.

On July 8, 1979, the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office said that they responded to a call from a man claiming to have found the remains of two people along Highway 20 near Fort Bragg. According to deputies, 90 percent of the body parts of the two victims were found.

"The memory of that day, the things that we saw, it doesn't go away," Roy Gourley, a retired deputy with the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office, said.

The remains were then sent off to a forensic team, who identified the body parts as a 14-year-old boy and a 14-year-old girl.

Staff with the sheriff's office said that they sent out a notification to the public asking for help in identifying the two people; however, came back empty handed. This case has gone through four different sheriffs, who each served an eight year term.

In 2011, the British Broadcasting Corporation had the two bodies exhumed. According to staff with the sheriff's office, it was not until November of 2015 that those two bodies were identified as 15-year-old Kerry Ann Graham and 14-year-old Francine Trimble.

"We had long hoped to have some closure in this case, but we thought it was a dusty forgotten case. We really didn't expect to get the call," Will Walsh, the uncle of Trimble, said.

According to staff with the sheriff's office, these two girls were from Sonoma County. They had gone to the mall in December of 1978 and never came home.

Family members said that they are happy to finally know what happened to the girls.

The sheriff's office said that there are no suspects at this time and they have not identified the cause of death for both of these girls. When examining the body parts there was no sign of trauma.

The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office and Sonoma County Sheriff's Office are both investigating this case. They ask that anyone with information contact their local law enforcement.

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