Following an examination of the bodies at the scene, Chief Medical Examiner Donald Reay determined that all three girls died of strangulation.
As he drifted slowly downstream, he noticed a middle-aged balding man standing by the riverbank and a second, younger man sitting in a nearby pickup truck. According to Smith and Guillen's book, The Search for the Green River Killer , the man standing then asked Ainsworth if he found anything, to which Ainsworth replied, "Just this old singletree." Soon after, the two men left in the old pick-up truck and Ainsworth continued to float down the river.
Ainsworth suspected that the men were out for a day's fishing. Moments later he found himself surrounded by death.
Major Richard Kraske, the head of the Criminal Investigation Division; and Detective Dave Reichert of the King County Major Crime Squad led the team.
They enlisted the help of FBI serial killer profiler John Douglas and criminal investigator Bob Keppel, who was known for his unique and successful approach of compiling evidence in the Ted Bundy case eight years earlier.
The investigation got off to a shaky start because a massive influx of information swamped the police force within a relatively short period of time.
They simply did not have the means to process the ever-increasing amount of data and evidence and much of it was lost, misplaced or overlooked entirely.Within a half hour, he noticed a man with two children on bicycles.He stopped them, told them of his gruesome discovery and asked them to get the police.During the search, a detective made another macabre discovery.He found a third body, that of a young girl who was partially clothed.In fact, the situation got so bad that at one point they enlisted the help of volunteers to assist the police in the ongoing investigation.