MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Hennepin County Attorney says he now has enough evidence to charge a man for the 1983 murder of 17-year-old Lorri Mesedahl.

Police suspected 62-year-old Darrell Rea of the murder for decades, and now he’s charged. DNA testing, which was not available in 1983, played a critical role.

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Lorri Mesedahl (credit: CBS)

“The nature of the crime was such that we needed more evidence to charge him,” Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said. “We now have more evidence, and we’ve charged him.”

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The teenager’s body was found badly beaten along the railroad tracks in April 1983. She had been sexually assaulted. Lorri’s parents have died, but her friends talk about the peace they are finding from today’s announcement.

Darrell Rea (credit: Hennepin County Jail)

“Back then none of us knew the direction of our life, or where we would be 34 years later,” Lorri’s friend Sue Baker said, “but one thing is for sure, Lorri would still be our friend.”

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Darrell Rea is being held in the Hennepin County jail on $1 million bail.