Sarah Marshlene Habakangas
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Sarah Marshlene Habakangas, 17 -- As a young girl, she followed her mother, Victoria, everywhere.

Spring of 1991, she left her mother and stepfather in Virginia and moved to SeaTac to live with her sister.

In SeaTac, Sarah started walking the streets and was traveling with a pimp to Portland and California.

"She would call me from all of these places," her mother recalled. She actually spoke to the man with her daughter. "I told him I didn't want my daughter hurt. He said she'd be all right."

"Sarah never had a bad bone in her body and she had her own mind," Victoria said weeping. "She never felt fear because she figured she'd never done anything to anyone else. "She was just somebody who got picked up with some bad people," her mother said.

"She said, 'Mom, don't worry about me. Nobody's going to hurt me.'"

November 1991, her body was found strangled, her hands and feet tied, near North Bend, where her friend, Nicole French, 19, was strangled.

Not a single day passes in which Melissa Habakangas doesn't think of her sister. "If God would give my sister back, I would let him take me. She was cheated out of her life."

Detectives are reexamining Habakangas' slaying to see if there are ties to the Green River case. Victoria and her daughter, Melissa, hope for a break in the case, which could help close wounds that are 10 years old. "I keep hoping that the truth will come out," said Victoria. "But in my heart, I don't believe it will happen."

Sarah's sister, Melissa Habakangas, maintains she was almost killed by a man matching Ridgway's description. She says the man tried to strangle her in the 1980s after she refused to have sex with him. "I managed to get out of the truck," Habakangas said, "but he chased me." The man told her she was going to die. Police could not be reached to confirm Melissa Habakangas's account, and her mother seemed dubious.

1 of 38 victims not previously investigated as Green River victims now being investigated in relationship with the Green River Crimes.

Copyright Kari Sable 1994-2006

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