PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The 1977 murders of two teens in Lane County has finally been solved thanks to modern DNA technology.
North Eugene high school students Lliana Gay Adank and Eric Shawn Goldstrand went to the Broken Bowl picnic grounds at Fall Creek for an afternoon picnic and fishing on June 9, 1977. Their parents called the Lane County Sheriff’s Office when they didn’t come home.
Adank, who was 16 years old, was sexually assaulted and shot to death in a secluded area. Goldstrand’s body was found in nearby brush. The 17-year-old had also been shot to death.
Authorities searched the area and put up roadblocks at the time but the teens’ killer wasn’t found. Detectives kept working on the case, interviewing numerous people, carrying out polygraph tests and analyzing many firearms and bullets.
Fingerprints and latent DNA samples from the crime scene were collected, but there were no matches at the time.
The suspect’s DNA was sent back for analysis in July of 2020 using modernized genealogical technology — and a match was finally made. The DNA results identified former Lane County resident Ronald Albert Shroy.
Shroy was 23 years old at the time of the murders. Investigators said he moved out of Oregon in the early 1980s and had been living in Mesa, Arizona since 2008.
Authorities were preparing to arrest Shroy and present the case to a grand jury when Shroy was reportedly involved in an unrelated domestic violence incident and took his own life on Feb. 24, 2021.
Detective Kurt Wuest, a volunteer with the Lane County Sheriff’s Office cold case team, was first assigned to the case in 1983. The sheriff’s office said Wuest hopes to bring long-awaited closure to the families of Adank and Goldstrand.