Arrest in 1991 Cold Case Murder

Sheriff Mitzi G. Johanknecht has announced the arrest of a 55 year old Covington man for the 1991 cold case murder of 16 year old Sarah Yarborough in Federal Way. 

28 years ago, on December 14th, 1991 at about 8 am, Sarah arrived at Federal Way High School.  A member of the drill team, Sarah had arrived about an hour early to meet her team and catch the bus to an event.

Just after 9 a.m., two 12 year old boys were cutting through the high school grounds and saw a male walking out of the bushes.   After he walked away, they looked in the bushes and discovered Sarah’s body.  The boys went home and told their parents, who called 911.  Officers responded to the scene immediately and locked down the scene for detectives.

Autopsy results confirmed Sarah had been strangled with a ligature.  DNA evidence was recovered from the scene and a suspect DNA profile was identified. 

 Using information obtained from the boys, a sketch was made of the suspect.

This case garnered national attention and generated thousands of tips. There were almost 4000 tips by the time of the arrest, yet none of them identified Nicholas as a suspect. 

Throughout the course of this investigation, DNA evidence was re-examined several times based on advancements in technology.