A break in Bastian-Welch cases


Jennifer Bastian (L) and Michella Welch (R)

A break in the Bastian and Welch cases as Tacoma Police has released sketches based on DNA evidence in these cold cases.

Jennifer was 13 years old when she went missing. According to the papers, Jennifer wanted to ride her bike 30 blocks to the park and then go back home. She was training for a YMCA bicycle tour of Lopez Island. When Jennifer did not return home later that evening, her family called the police.

Jennifer’s body was found 28 days later by a group of joggers near the Five Mile Drive. She had been raped and strangled. Police found DNA near her body and submitted about 30 cheek swabs of potential suspects to the lab for comparison.

Jennifer’s case used to be linked to the Michella Welch murder. Michella’s remains had been found four months earlier in the ravine of another Tacoma park. Michella was 12 years old when she disappeared in March 1986. She too had been on a bike and on her way home to care for her sisters. Police found her body the same night.

Bastian suspect based on DNA

Bastian suspect based on DNA

Welch suspect based on DNA

Welch suspect based on DNA

As we know now, Jennifer Bastian and Michella Welch were not murdered by the same person.

Based on the DNA evidence sketches were made and show the wanted men in detail.

I have made screenshots and placed the suspects next to each other. If you click on the images they should enlarge. If not, please let me know.

Please take a look and watch the clip. If you recognize these men or have have information about the Bastian-Welch cases please call the Tacoma police at 253-591-5968.

Thank you.


  1. […] In 2013, detectives with the Tacoma Police Department’s cold case unit released what they thought was the killer’s profile. It resulted in over 60 new tips in the case. DNA was run through a national database of felons, but didn’t match any the 11 million plus DNA profiles in the database. The case was also explored by a panel of experts at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. In 2016, the authorities released a suspect image based on DNA phenotyping. […]

  2. […] other cases where this technology could make a difference are the cases of Jennifer Bastian and Michella Welch. Jennifer’s case used to be linked to the Michella Welch murder. As we know now, Jennifer […]

  3. […] There is a DNA profile that is used to eliminate old suspects and to scan databases in search of a match. I hope that the Australian authorities take their cue from the American Jennifer Bastian – Michela Welch murders. […]