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Cold Case Reopened By Twin Falls Police And Washington State Patrol

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By Paul Johnson

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KSVT-TV ) - On May 14, 1991, a deadly vehicle collision involved a woman who may have caught a ride in Twin Falls. Now, the Washington State Patrol and the city of Twin Falls Police are asking for assistance with the 20 year old cold case.

Authorities say the accident happened on U.S. Interstate 5 near Kalama, Washington when a semi truck ran into the back of another semi truck. That caused an explosion that killed two people. The driver, identified as Lester Harvel who was 26 at the time of the incident and a young woman. That woman is who authorities from Washington state and Idaho are trying to identify.

The relationship between the driver and the unidentified woman is unknown at this time. However, witnesses reported to Washington State Patrol detectives that the female may have caught a ride from Harvel in Twin Falls, and that she was possibly riding with him for a couple of days prior to the collision. Detectives were able to reconstruct the driver's route, which confirmed the Harvel did pass through Magic Valley on U.S. Interstate 84.

The investigation gained a new lead earlier this year when Washington State Patrol exhumed the body of the young woman and produced artist renderings that reconstructed what the woman may have looked like at the time of her death. The woman was described by witnesses and in autopsy reports as possibly being Native American and was wearing a unique feather earring. The drawing has been posted with this story.

The Twin Falls Police Department is asking anyone who may recognize the woman in the artist renderings, or who may have information on the case, to contact the City of Twin Falls non-emergency number at 208-735-4357.


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