Welder who 'snatched 15-year-old as she rode her bike and stabbed her to death' 50 years ago is finally charged with murder

 An arrest has been made almost 50 years after a 15-year-old girl was kidnapped and murdered in Naperville, Illinois.

Barry Lee Whelpley, 76, was arrested on Wednesday by the Naperville Police Department, the department announced on Friday.

The retired welder was living in Mounds View, Minnesota at the time of his arrest, but was a 27-year-old who lived within a mile of victim Julie Ann Hanson, 15, during the deadly incident on July 8, 1972.

The police chief said in a news conference that Julie borrowed her brother's bike to go to a baseball game that day, but didn't return home. 

Julie was reported missing that day and her body was later found in a field in Naperville with multiple stab wounds. The bike was found on a gravel road nearby. 

Investigators said that Julie had been sexually assaulted and stabbed 36 times, according to WLS

Pictured: Julie Ann Hanson, 15, who was found stabbed to death in a Naperville field in 1972

Pictured: Julie Ann Hanson, 15, who was found stabbed to death in a Naperville field in 1972

'She was very personable, a very sweet girl,' neighbor Peggy Thompson said of Julie. 'She was only a couple of years older than us, but she babysat some of the kids in the neighborhood.' 

'No one locked doors. We knew everybody, and then this happened, and I've called it the end of the age of innocence,' Thompson added. 'Because it immediately changed to a very fearful existence, especially for us as kids.' 

Without an immediate suspect, the case went cold, although police continued to investigate over the last five decades.

'This horrific crime has haunted this family, this community and this department for 49 years,' Naperville Police Chief Robert Marshall said. 


Marshall added that Julie's picture remained on the desks of investigators over the intervening years. 

'This was never a cold case for our police department,' Marshall said. 

The police cited 'technological advancements in DNA and genetic genealogy analysis' as the reason for their recent breakthrough. 

Authorities declined to elaborate on the DNA evidence for fears of jeopardizing the prosecution of the case. 

'We can't go into the specifics,' Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow said.

'I think probably everybody in the media is aware of this procedure, and these detectives used it with great expertise, and resulted in the charges being filed here today,' Glasgow added. 

Barry Lee Whelpley, 76, was arrested on Wednesday by the Naperville Police Department, the department announced on Friday. He has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder and is being held on $10million bond

Barry Lee Whelpley, 76, was arrested on Wednesday by the Naperville Police Department, the department announced on Friday. He has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder and is being held on $10million bond

Nevertheless, WLS reports that one of Whelpley's relatives used a commercial DNA service to learn more about their family history.

That created a link between Whelpley and the DNA left from the crime scene. 

Whelpley has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder and is being held on $10million bond. 

'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,' Marshall added. 

Whelpley is awaiting extradition to Illinois, according to the Naperville Police Department.

According to CNN, it's not clear if Whelpley has an attorney representing him.

As seen in the Patch, Marshall read a statement from the Hanson family, which thanked investigators for their work in the case.

'As you might assume, it has been a long journey for our family,' the statement read. 'We are forever grateful to all those who have worked on this case throughout the many years.'

Julie's parents passed away before her alleged killer was caught, but her brother and sister are still alive.

Thompson, the neighbor, added, 'I'm personally am very thankful that they got someone. I'm just disappointed that he lived free for 50 years.'

The Naperville Police Department continues to seek information from the public about the case. 

Welder who 'snatched 15-year-old as she rode her bike and stabbed her to death' 50 years ago is finally charged with murder Welder who 'snatched 15-year-old as she rode her bike and stabbed her to death' 50 years ago is finally charged with murder Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 06:56 Rating: 5

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.