Someone with a penchant for girls with hair parted in the middle may have abducted and killed up to 40 victims, most of them teen-agers, the man in charge of investigating the bizarre cases says.

Lt. Nat Wingo, investigating the cases in Brazoria County, said Saturday that he had a list of 21 missing girls but he believed that up to 40 girls who disappeared during a four-year span in the early 1970s may have met similar fates.

The bodies of two young Dickinson, Tex., girls were identified Friday. They had last been seen walking to a school bus stop on Sept. 9, 1974.

Wingo said all the missing girls were between ages of 12 and 21, were white with fair complexions, slender and medium to light brown hair -- long and parted down the middle. He said that over the past 10 years the bodies of eight girls have been found -- all near a body of water.

"I'd say they [the disappearances] are all related in terms of some of their similarities and consistencies, such as location of finding and appearance of girls," the investigator said. More than one suspect may be involved, he said, but he believes one person is responsible for most of the abductions.