WA WA - Tami Kowalchuk, 17, Tacoma, 26 Dec 1999

Discussion in '1990's Missing' started by SheWhoMustNotBeNamed, Nov 16, 2010.

  1. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Former Member

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    [​IMG]
    Tami Faye Kowalchuk

    Endangered Missing from Tacoma, Washington since December 26, 1999

    Age: 17 -- Height: 5'0" -- Weight: 100 lbs -- Hair Color: Blonde/Brown -- Eye Color: Blue


    Tami was last seen in Tacoma, Washington on December 26, 1999. She has never been heard from again. Few details are available.


    Doe Network

    NamUs

    Charley Project
     
  2. Veidt

    Veidt New Member

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    Charley Project has updated is page to list more details if anyone is interested:

    "Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian female. Blonde hair, blue eyes. Tami may use the first name Tabitha. She has a tattoo of a teardrop under his right eye.

    Details of Disappearance
    Tami was last seen getting into a small white car outside her family's home on east Morton Avenue in Tacoma, Washington on December 26, 1999. She didn't take any clothing or personal belongings with her and has never been heard from again. Tami's family didn't report her missing until 2004. It's possible that she ran away, but authorities can't find anyone who's had contact with her since 1999. Foul play is possible in her case."

    Those are the main points updated. The link to the page is still the same as in the original post. The tear drop tattoo especially seem relevant, while I'm sure there are a few people around who have them they can help narrow down a search. I also think it's really strange why her family took so long to report her missing. Maybe they thought she had run away? She didn't take any belongings, though. :twocents:

    I also came across this article/essay that suggests she may have been murdered by Gary Ridgway and discussion for that can be found at this link.
     
  3. CarlK90245

    CarlK90245 UID Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I've always understood the teardrop tattoo to be a tattoo worn by gang members to indicate that they have committed murder.

    Perhaps there are other meanings for a teardrop tattoo. I don't have any reason to suspect that this was the purpose for Tami's teardrop tattoo.
     
  4. EmmaliLucia

    EmmaliLucia New Member

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    With women, a teardrop tattoo usually means that their husband or significant other went to prison.
     
  5. Veidt

    Veidt New Member

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    ^ Yeah, that reminds me of Amy Winehouse.

    I don't think teardrop tattoos have fixed meanings. Most "gang" tattoos often have different meanings in different areas. I don't know what was the meaning in the Tacoma area. It could be linked to her hanging out with gang members, that could certainly explain why her family took so long to report her missing -- most likely they just thought she had set off with friends, IMO. This site gives examples of some other usages, like people who simply get it to represent the loss of a loved one. I wouldn't discount the possibility that she got it just because she thought it looked "cool", lots of tattoos that have prison-related meanings are being increasingly appropriated by the mainstream, even by people who have no criminal ties whatsoever. I wonder what is the story behind her tattoo, it could tell us a lot. She was also only 17, I wonder if at that age you could get tattoos legally or if she used a dodgy parlour or if it was a home made tattoo. I seem to recall that years ago in many places you could get a tattoo if you were under 18 as long as you had your parents' permission, but I can't imagine many people being ok with their children getting face tattoos at such a young age. If that was the case it could tell us something about her family background too.

    All :moo:, of course.
     
  6. MagnoliaMountain

    MagnoliaMountain Red Rose

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  7. EmmaliLucia

    EmmaliLucia New Member

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    She looks like Lisa Kudrow in that age progression.

    Also, I don't know about in 1999. But since at least 2006 the only Western states you can get a tattoo at under 18 with parental approval are in Idaho and Hawaii.
     
  8. MagnoliaMountain

    MagnoliaMountain Red Rose

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    Her age-progressions look off...

    I don't think she got that teardrop from a professional tattoo artist...Maybe a friend gave it to her without her parents' permission, I'd assume.

    IMO, two of the three pictures of Tami look like mugshots. Wondering if she might have been involved with a bad crowd, drugs etc.
     
  9. MagnoliaMountain

    MagnoliaMountain Red Rose

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    Thinking of Tami.
     
  10. MagnoliaMountain

    MagnoliaMountain Red Rose

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    http://www.tpcrimestoppers.com/case.php?id=207

    On the street...maybe she was involved in the gang lifestyle...or in prostitution. A tiny 17 y/o girl vanishes and more than 13 years later nobody has ever heard from her again obviously. I'm really worried for Tami.
     
  11. EmmaliLucia

    EmmaliLucia New Member

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    In a very late response to the theory that Gary Ridgway could have had something to do with it, I highly doubt it. She was reported to have gotten into a small white car, Gary Ridgway always drove trucks.

    To be fair, I don't think he killed Patricia Yellowrobe, either. The autopsy on her concluded that she died of an overdose, I highly doubt Gary would've changed his MO, I mean he hadn't with more than 45 girls, why would he suddenly change it in 1998?

    That's not to say I think he stopped killing in the 80s. I just think that he got better at hiding victims.
     
  12. MagnoliaMountain

    MagnoliaMountain Red Rose

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    Tami has been missing for 14 years. What happened to this girl?
     
  13. Veidt

    Veidt New Member

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    Maybe or maybe not? She may have hung out with shady types and given out that name to protect herself from creepy people, like when people go to bars/clubs and give out a fake name to strangers who start conversations with them out of safety. Or maybe she just liked her name better and that's what she went by to her friends. I don't think that using a different name necessarily means she was in a gang or a prostitute.

    I hope she's safe. :(
     
  14. Merry

    Merry New Member

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    I wonder if Terapon Adhahn whom murdered Zina Linnik in Tacoma back in 2008 has been investigated for involvement in Tami's disappearance. Tami does resemble Zina to a certain degree. Both blonde and although Tami was older she was petite. Of couree this is JMO and :twocents:.
     
  15. MagnoliaMountain

    MagnoliaMountain Red Rose

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    This beautiful girl has been missing for 15 years.
     
  16. wintermute

    wintermute Member

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    Ridgeway confessed to killing Patricia Yellowrobe by strangulation. She had a very high level of drugs in her system when she died, so it was concluded that she had ODed. He doesn't seem to confess to murders that he didn't commit, so I believe that Patricia was his last victim.
     
  17. alb1on

    alb1on Well-Known Member

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  18. MagnoliaMountain

    MagnoliaMountain Red Rose

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    Tami has been missing for 17 years this month.
     
  19. Buck

    Buck New Member

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    Puget Sound and Tacoma/Lakewood have been a hotbed for human trafficking and prostitution for a long time. And the area she lived in was gang infested. There's still these problems, but things were a lot worse back in the 90's in Tacoma. Judging from the tear drop tattoo, the booking photos, and someone else posting that she had drug and prostitution charges filed against her, unfortunately I think the worst likely happened. Probably met a John that took her life. Highly suspicious that the family didn't say anything until 4-5 years later though.
     
  20. aThousandYearsWide

    aThousandYearsWide Well-Known Member

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    Cases like these are so heartbreaking to me. A teen goes missing and isn't reported for years and little is known to their disappearance.

    Gary Ridgeway's (oh my gosh! I just noticed his initials are GR...Green River. So off topic sorry!) last confirmed victim was Patricia Yellowrobe (38) in January 1998. And he was charged with trying to solicit prostitutes in 2001 which suggests he was still seeking victims. Tami even looks similar to some known GRK victims.

    With her being last seen getting into a white car, that vehicle doesn't necessarily have to have been Ridgeway. It could have been a friend that dropped her off downtown. I also don't see prostitutes getting picked up by "dates" right in front of their houses, seems too risky in an already risky business if John's know where she lives. I also don't understand how that piece of information is 100% factually correct if her family didn't report her missing for 4/5 years. I wonder if Ridgeway has been questioned in her case. I'm sure the tear drop tattoo would be easily remembered.

    She could also be a victim of Robert Lee Yates. Similar to Ridgeway, Yates last confirmed killing was in 1998. He was arrested in 2000.
     

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