Man charged in 1993 murder of teenage girl being held on $2M bail

A man accused of kidnapping and killing a teenage girl in Snohomish County back in 1993 appeared in court on Thursday.

Alan Dean is charged with first-degree murder. He was arrested in 2020 after detectives used DNA to connect him to the killing of 15-year-old Melissa Lee.

Dean was released earlier this week from Western State Hospital. At Thursday's hearing, Dean's attorney argued that the case should be dismissed again since there is no new evidence his client is competent to stand trial.

A hearing on Dean's competency is expected to take place next week. He is being held on $2 million bail.

Melissa Lee was at home alone the night of April 13, 1993, investigators with the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office said. Melissa was supposed to have a friend stay over, but the friend never made it. When Melissa's mother arrived home after midnight, the door was open and there were signs of a struggle: the living room coffee table askew, an ashtray upside down on the floor, a glass of milk spilled on the floor."

The following day, Lee's body was found in a ravine on the north side of Edgewater Creek Bridge in Everett.

An autopsy revealed the next day that Melissa's death was caused by strangulation and ruled a homicide. The autopsy also found chemicals Ethyl Ether and Heptane in Lee's system.

Melissa Lee (Snohomish County Sheriff's Office handout)

Major Crimes Detectives said they used genetic genealogy to link Alan Edward Dean to Lee's murder.

"Dean was identified as a suspect through the use of genetic genealogy, which is the use of DNA testing in combination with traditional genealogical methods to establish the relationship between an individual and their ancestors," investigators wrote in a news release.

Alan Dean around 1993 (Snohomish County Sheriff's Office handout)

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