A genetic family tree investigation led to a breakthrough in the 1972 case of a teenage lady who was stabbed to loss of life and dumped in a cornfield.
Barry Lee Whelpley, 76, was arrested final week at his residence in Minnesota for the killing of 15-year-old Julie Ann Hanson in Illinois nearly 50 years in the past.
Officials say that they recognized the suspect utilizing genetic family tree, which allegedly tied his DNA to the crime scene.
The investigation approach permits officers to seek for members of the family who’ve voluntarily submitted their very own DNA to well-liked ancestry databases.
It was most famously used to seize “Golden State Killer” Joseph DeAngelo for a string of rapes and murders, which he carried out between 1973 and 1986.
Authorities have refused to say which database was used in the arrest of Mr Whelpley, however police in the Chicago suburb of Naperville say they used the providers of Identifinders International.
The California-based agency describes itself on its web site as “worldwide cold case experts” and was based by forensic genealogist, Colleen Fitzpatrick.
Julie Ann Hanson went lacking after borrowing her brother’s bike to attend his 7 July 1972 baseball recreation.
She by no means returned residence and after she was reported lacking the following day her physique was found in a area and he or she had been raped and stabbed 36 occasions.
Mr Whelpley, who was 27, on the time, was residing a mile from her household’s residence when she disappeared.
He has been charged by the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office with three counts of First-Degree Murder.
The retired welder, who has two daughters, is being held on $10m bail in a Minnesota county jail pending his extradition to Illinois.
“This brutal crime haunted our community for many, many, many years,” mentioned Naperville Police Chief Robert Marshall.
“This was never a cold case … we continually investigated.”
Julie’s dad and mom at the moment are lifeless however remaining members of the family thanks the police for his or her efforts.
“As you might assume, it has been a long journey for our family,” they mentioned in an announcement.
“We are forever grateful to all those who have worked on this case throughout the many years.”