Left: Darci circa, 1990
Right: Age Progressed to age 38
Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: April 24, 1990
Missing From: Seattle, King County, Washington
Classification: Endangered Missing
Date Of Birth: October 1, 1973
Age: 16 years old
Height and Weight: 5’7″ and 175 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian Female, Brown hair, Blue eyes
NCMEC Number: 855651
Details of Disappearance
Darci was last seen in Seattle, Washington on April 24th 1990. She was brought to her home in the area just before she disappeared. She had runaway from home but police found her and returned her to her house. She ran away again on the day she disappeared and hasn’t been seen or heard from since. She has a history of prostitution.
Investigators believe that Warde was a victim of the Green River killings. The killer, Gary Ridgeway, was charged and convicted with killing 49 of his 71 confessed victims. His 48 confirmed victims include 46 identified murdered women and 2 unidentified Jane does whom were also victims of his. He is also considered a suspect in several other women’s disappearances.
He has been looked at in relation to the disappearances of Louise Marie Sanders, Kase Ann Lee, Kristi Lynn Vorak, Patricia Ann LeBlanc, Keli Kay McGinness, Patricia Anne Osborn, and Deborah Wims. Investigators have also looked at him for the disappearances of Andria Bailey and Cora Christmas McGuirk. Police have no reason to believe that Bailey was a victim of the killings since she vanished in the 1970s.
Ridgeway’s victims were usually sex workers or prostitutes. He also had victims that were teenaged runaways. He stated he picked prostitutes since they were easy to gain the trust of and most of them he “hated”. It should be noted that Ridgeway remained an unidentified killer until 2001 when he was arrested and charged with aggravated murder in the slayings of 4 women.
Three of the women were identified as Opal Mills, Marcia Chapman, and Cynthia Hinds. Their bodies were discovered in the Green River south of Seattle on August 15th 1982. Another presumed victim of his, Carol Christensen, was found slain in the woods nearby in May of 1983. His DNA was matched to the victims found in the river in 2001 and circumstantial evidence linked him to Carols murder.
Ridgway had been a suspect in the cases since 1984, he was questioned that same year regarding their deaths. Witnesses came forward and claimed that Ridgway was with two of the victims before their murders and his pickup truck was the one seen at the location where they were also seen alive. His house was searched in 1987 and he gave police a saliva sample at that time. The saliva sample would ultimately link him to the murders through DNA.
Ridgway’s criminal record dates back to the early 1980s. He was arrested in 1982 for solicitation of prostitution and was originally charged with connection to prostitution in 1980 but that charge was dropped after the prostitute claimed he choked her. Ridgway fought her claim and stated that he choked her in self defense since she was biting him. Another prostitute who was paid by Ridgway for her services in the early 1980s corroborated this and said he attempted to choke her while they had sexual intercourse.
One of Ridgway’s former wives came forward after he was arrested in 2001 and claimed that Ridgway preferred to do sexual activities outdoors and that he would employ a chokehold on her while they were having sex. His residence along with his parents home were searched after his arrest in 2001. Authorities discovered many items of interest which included an envelope that contained bone fragments, numerous bloodstains, tufts of human hair and wigs, costume jewelry, and latex gloves.
Many of his presumed victims were missing wigs and jewelry when their bodies were discovered. Authorities stated that they planned to seek the death penalty against him for his crimes in April of 2002. That same year, investigators attempted to locate all of Ridgway’s vehicles to see if they had any evidence linking him to other crimes. They managed to locate several of his former vehicles and also purchased his pickup truck and camper from their owners.
Ridgway owner the pickup truck during the early 1980s, this was when many of his victims disappeared or when his victims were found murdered. In early August of 2003, Ridgway was moved from a maximum prison cell at King County Jail to an Airway Heights Minimum-Medium Security Level Tank. His lawyers were planning to close a plea bargain in which Ridgway would be spared of the death penalty. He would have to confess to the murders of the other Green River victims.
In August and September of 2003, Ridgway led investigators to the remains of 3 missing girls he killed in the 1980s. On August 16th 2003, investigators found the remains of a 16 year old female in Enumclaw, Washington. They were identified as belonging to Pammy Annette Avent who was killed on October 26th 1983. In September, investigators found the remains of Marie Malvar and April Buttram. Malvar disappeared on April 30th 1983 from Seattle. Buttram disappeared on August 18th 1983.
Ridgway was convicted and pleaded guilty to 48 counts of murder in November of 2003. He is serving 48 life sentences without the possibility of parole. Various investigators believe that Ridgway was responsible for more deaths than he confessed too. He claimed to have killed up to 71 people. He might face the death penalty if investigators find that he committed any murders outside of King County, Washington.
In addition to the murder charges, Ridgway was also charged with tampering with evidence in relation to each victim. He received an additional 10 years for each which adds 480 years to his life sentences. He later said that murdering women was his “career”. Profilers have stayed that Ridgway doesn’t fit the typical type of a serial killer. He was described by neighbors as a family oriented being and didn’t seek attention for his crimes much like other killers.
Investigators believe that Warde was murdered by Ridgway, at one pint he allegedly confessed to killing a girl named either “Darci” or “Dorsey” at some point in the mid to late 1980s in Tacoma. It’s possible Darci ran away to Tacoma and crosses paths with Ridgeway there. Foul play is suspected in her disappearance which remains unsolved. Various agencies classify her disappearance as an endangered runaway.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Seattle Police Department 206-684-5582
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children