Man in Minnesota charged in 1972 murder of 15-year-old in Illinois

Posted at 8:14 PM, Jun 04, 2021

Authorities say a 76-year-old man in Minnesota has been arrested in the 1972 stabbing death of a 15-year-old girl in Illinois.

The Naperville Police Department announced Friday that they arrested Barry Lee Whelpley for the July 8, 1972 murder of Julie Ann Hanson in Naperville, Illinois.

Police said Hanson was reported missing on July 8, 1972, after she was last seen riding on a bicycle away from her home, the Associated Press reported.

Her body, stabbed multiple times, was discovered later that same day in a field in Naperville.

According to the AP, Hanson had reportedly been stabbed 36 times and sexually assaulted.

No suspects were identified, and the case went cold for decades.

“This horrific crime has haunted this family, this community, and this department for 49 years,” said Naperville Police Chief Robert Marshall in a news release.

Marshall said the arrest of Whelpley happened through technological advancements in DNA and genetic genealogy analysis.

Whelpley, who was 27 at the time of the murder, lived within a mile of Hanson's home, officials said.

Whelpley was arrested in Minnesota and will be extradited to Illinois.

He's been charged with three counts of first-degree murder, and his bond was set at $10 million.