A Minnesota man faces a first-degree murder charge the 1972 murder of a 15-year-old girl in Naperville, Illinois.
Barry Lee Whelpley, 76, was arrested Wednesday for the murder of Julie Ann Hanson, officials announced Friday.
— CBS Chicago (@cbschicago) June 4, 2021
“The breakthrough in this case came through technological advancements in DNA and genetic genealogy analysis,” Naperville police said in a news release. No details were provided.
“This horrific crime has haunted this family, this community and this department for 49 years,” said Naperville Police Chief Robert Marshall, according to WFLD-TV.
“The investigation and resulting charges were truly a team effort that spanned decades, and I could not be more proud of the determination and resourcefulness of our investigators, both past and present, who never gave up on Julie.”
Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow praised the police for never giving up.
“These investigators, with all the beating that law enforcement is taking in the media every day, this is what it’s all about. Fund the police, don’t defund the police,” Glasgow said at a news conference, the Sun-Times reported.
“These officers have stayed in touch with the families and have finally been able to give them what they’ve been hoping for all these years.”
JUST IN: A Minnesota man has been arrested in connection to a cold case out of Indiana. 76-year-old Barry Whelpley is accused of murdering a 15 year old girl in 1972. He’s charged with 3 counts of murder. $10M bond. pic.twitter.com/pgtN0X5LRG
— Scott Schneider (@scott_fox9) June 4, 2021
Marshall said police never gave up hope.
“Unfortunately, the offender was not immediately found and our department never in five decades ever gave up in looking for Julie’s killer,” he said. “The last 49 years, we’ve chased many leads, identified many suspects and all were eliminated through the exhaustive investigation of our detectives.”
He added that the case was never forgotten.
“We had Julie’s picture on our desks in investigations for all these years,” Marshall said.
He also read a statement from the Hanson family.
“As you might assume, it has been a long journey for our family. We are forever grateful for all those who have worked on this case throughout the many years,” the statement said.
Whelpley, of Mounds View, Minnesota, is currently being held in a Minnesota jail on $10 million bail, pending extradition to Illinois.
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