MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Police in Naperville, Illinois have arrested a Minnesota man in connection with the 1972 stabbing death of 15-year-old Julie Ann Hanson.
Barry Lee Whelpley, a 76-year-old man from Mounds View, was arrested in Minnesota on Wednesday. He awaits extradition to Will County, Illinois, where he faces three counts of first-degree murder. His bond was set at $10,000,000.
Hanson was reported missing on July 8, 1972. Later that day, her body was discovered in a field off 87th Street and Modaff Road. Police say she had been stabbed repeatedly.
Whelpley, who was 27 at the time, was a former Naperville resident who lived within a mile of Hanson’s home.
The case remained unsolved for 49 years, but a recent breakthrough came due to advancements in DNA and genetic genealogy analysis.
“This horrific crime has haunted this family, this community and this department for 49 years,” said Naperville Police Chief Robert Marshall. “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.”
Anyone with additional information about this case is asked to call Naperville Police at 630-420-6665.