MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Neighbors of Jerry Westrom, a metro hockey dad described as a nice guy and a family man, were shocked to see his mug shot in connection to a cold case murder from 25 years ago.
Westrom, 52, is accused of killing Jeanne Ann Childs in Minneapolis back in 1993. He would have been 27 year old, and she was 35.
In 1993 police said, “the person or suspect we’re looking for could possibly been injured bad enough to seek medical attention.”
“Childs’ body was found the bedroom of her apartment on June 13, 1993,” said Minneapolis Police Public Information Officer John Elder.
Minneapolis Police say the Cold Case Task Force, along with the FBI and Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, reviewed the case in 2015. Three years later, after consulting with an online genealogy website, they say Westrom’s DNA matched DNA evidence left at the crime scene.
“There is no known relationship between the individuals, and that’s what makes these sort of cases so hard to solve,” Elder said. “And through forensics and through updated technology, we’re able to come back and get people placed under arrest for crimes they committed long ago.”
Westrom’s criminal history shows traffic violations and multiple DWI convictions. He was convicted in 2015 of agreeing to hire a prostitute in Stearns County. The criminal complaint states he admitted to talking to a woman he found in the escorts section of backpage.com and planned to pay her $100 for sex.
Police admit it has taken decades to make an arrest in Childs’ murder, and say they never give up.
Sources tell WCCO-TV Westrom owned and operated independent businesses in Isanti County for a number of years.
Minneapolis police arrested him Monday in Waite Park, near his current Stearns County office.
Police expect Westrom to be charged with murder by noon Wednesday.