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SeaTac man pleads not guilty to 1987 murders of Canadian couple

Tanya Van Cuylenborg, 18, and Jay Cook, 20 (File photo)

EVERETT, Wash. - A 55-year-old SeaTac man has pleaded not guilty to the 1987 murders of a young Canadian couple in Washington state.

The Daily Herald reports William Earl Talbott II pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Snohomish County Superior Court in the deaths of 18-year-old Tanya Van Cuylenborg and 20-year-old Jay Cook.

Authorities say they linked Talbott by DNA evidence to the deaths and arrested him after getting a DNA sample from a cup that fell from his vehicle.

The couple was killed 30 years ago on a road trip from their hometown of Saanich, B.C., on Vancouver Island, to Seattle to pick up furnace parts for Cook's father. They never returned.

Van Cuylenborg had been sexually assaulted, bound with plastic ties and shot in the head. Investigators say the assault evidence provided a direct link to Talbott.

Cook's battered body was found about 75 miles away. Police say he was beaten with rocks and strangled.

Talbott is being held in the Skagit County Community Justice Center on $2 million bail.

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