In September of 1986, Deputies with the Benton County Sheriff's Office recovered partial human remains in the Columbia River by the Blue Bridge.  They were unable to identify the recovered remains at that time.  The identified person was laid to rest at Resthaven Cemetery in Richland.

US National Park Service
US National Park Service
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Time, and technological advances, impacts almost everything.  One area where it has been the most impactful is in the identification of human remains linked to cold cases.  Fast forward 37 years to September 11th of 2023.  The Benton County Coroner's Office exhumed the remains, collected DNA, and sent it off to an outside laboratory.

The lab ran an extensive search for potential familial matches and eventually delivered a result that, while it did not solve the case, it did identify the person found all those years ago in the Columbia River.

Betty from OR/Find a Grave
Betty from OR/Find a Grave
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It was announced by the Benton County Sheriff's Office that Patricia Kay (nee Ereth) Rodriguez, who was born December 12th, 1949, was the person found in the Columbia River nearly 40 years ago.  Patricia was reported as a missing person from Yakima in February of 1983.

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Montana State Library
Montana State Library/Patricia Ereth
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Patricia was last seen leaving the Peking Palace restaurant on N 1st St in Yakima (Peking palace is no longer in businesses).  She had four children at the time of her disappearance. Time is not a friend when it comes to locating relatives, friends, and witnesses from 41 years ago, and the reason for her disappearance may never be known.  Yakima Police has been contacted and made aware of Patricia's identification.

60 Missing Children From Washington. Do You Recognize Anyone?

I remember seeing missing children's images on It's every parent's nightmare. When children go missing from home, school, anywhere, fear sets in. Who took the child or teen? What happened? Please take a look at these missing children images. One of these kids could be your neighbor, friend, or family member. Do you have any information about any of these missing people?

Gallery Credit: Jaime Skelton