Skip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit

Minnesota man charged in 1972 murder of 15-year-old Illinois girl

  • Updated
  • 0
{{featured_button_text}}

NAPERVILLE, Ill. – A former Naperville man has been charged with first-degree murder in the 1972 stabbing death of 15-year-old Julie Ann Hanson, linked to the case through DNA evidence and genealogy, Naperville police Chief Robert Marshall and Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow said Friday.

Barry Lee Whelpley, 76, of Mounds View, Minnesota, about 12 miles outside of St. Paul, has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder. He was arrested Wednesday and is awaiting extradition; bond was set at $10 million.

The Naperville girl disappeared July 7, 1972, while riding her 12-year-old brother’s bicycle. Her body was found a day later in a ditch along 87th Street, about 100 feet away in a cornfield less than a mile east of Modaff Road in Will County.

The teenager had been stabbed 36 times and sexually assaulted.

“This brutal crime haunted our community many, many, many years. It hit the community, very hard,” Marshall said. “This young girl, 15 years old, left her home in Naperville and never returned.”

Whelpley, who was 27 at the time of Julie Ann Hanson’s murder, lived in a home in the 600 block of South Wehrli Drive, within a mile of the Hanson residence.

People are also reading…

No suspect was immediately identified at the time of her death, and detectives have continued to investigate the murder for the last 49 years. The breakthrough in this case came through technological advancements in DNA and genetic genealogy analysis, Marshall and Glasgow said.

“This brutal crime haunted our community many, many, many years. It hit the community, very hard,” Marshall said. “This young girl, 15 years old, left her home in Naperville and never returned.”

Bears running back David Montgomery has produced in the running game and passing game but now he's shown a new added dimension of leadership with some fiery offseason talk.

Naperville police never gave up, chasing leads and identifying suspects, all of which were eliminated through the exhaustive investigation, he said.

“People often call these types of cases, cold cases. This was never a cold case for our police department,” Marshall said.

“We were all conscious of Julie’s murder, looking for the killer,” he said. “We had Julie’s picture on our desks and investigations for all these years.”

Detectives were diligent, relentless and had the faith this case would be solved someday, he said. “That day is today,” he said.

The breakthrough came as a result of technological advancements in DNA and genetic genealogy analysis, Marshall said. Detectives used private labs throughout the country to assist with sophisticated DNA testing and genealogy analysis.

Among those contributing, Marshall said, were senior forensic genealogist Misty Gillis of Identifinders International in California and company founder Colleen Fitzpatrick. Identifinders works with law enforcement agencies on violent crime cold cases.

In addition, police worked with the HudsonAlpha Lab in Huntsville, Alabama, a biotech company that provides genomic testing, analysis and interpretation.

Glasgow said he never expected to be standing in Naperville and talking about this case. “Julie Ann Hanson 1972: It’s an outlier at that point,” he said.

“These officers have stayed in touch with the families and finally been able to give them what they’ve been hoping for all these years,” Glasgow said.

And the family is thankful.

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

1
0
0
0
0

Be the first to know

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

News Alerts

Breaking News