A Minnesota man has been charged in the 1972 cold case murder of an Illinois teenager. The man will be extradited to Illinois to face three counts of first-degree murder.
Barry Lee Whelpley, 76, was arrested in Mounds View on Wednesday, June 2, on a fugitive warrant out of Will County, Illinois. Whelpley is charged with three counts of first-degree murder in the July 1972 cold case, according to Kare11 News.
ABC7 News reported that Whelpley lived in Naperville, Illinois in 1972. He was 27 years old when prosecutors allege that he killed 15-year-old Julie Ann Hanson. Hanson’s body was found in a cornfield on July 8, 1972.
Investigators, at the time, reported that Hanson was sexually assaulted and stabbed 36 times.
“Our department never in five decades gave up looking for Julie’s killer,” Naperville Police Chief Robert Marshall told Yahoo News. Marshall reported that investigators used DNA evidence, and genealogy to link Whelpley to the crime.
Hanson was last seen on July 7, 1972 while riding her bike to her brother’s baseball game while her parents were out of town, according to Yahoo News. Whelpley was living, and working in Naperville as a welder at the time.
Whelpey lived less than a mile from the Hanson family home, according to People Magazine.
Hanson never made it to her brother’s baseball game. She was reported missing the next day, July 8, by her 18-year-old sister. That afternoon, Julie’s bicycle was found in a ditch along 87th street, and her body was found in a cornfield nearby.
According to Yahoo News, investigators said the case quickly went cold and no suspects were ever identified in the case. Last year officials announced that they checked the DNA found at the crime scene to suspected serial killer Bruce Lindahl, who died while committing another fatal stabbing in 1981. Lindahl was not a match to the DNA found at the Hanson crime scene.
Whelpley’s bond was set 10 million dollars, according to People Magazine. Attorney information is not yet available, and he was not yet entered a plea.