“This horrific crime has haunted this family, this community and this department for 49 years,” said Naperville Police Chief Robert Marshall. “The investigation and the resulting accusations were truly a team effort that lasted for decades, and I could not be proud of the determination and ingenuity of our investigators, both past and present, who have never given up on Julie.”
A suspect in the case was not identified immediately. But after 49 years of lengthy investigation, authorities have been arrested through technological advances in DNA analysis and genetic genealogy, Marshall said.
“This has never been a cold case for our police department,” Marshall said. “We were all aware of Julie’s murder, looking for the killer, and we had a picture of Julie at the desks and investigations all these years.”
He was 27 years old at the time of Hanson’s murder and lived one mile from Hanson’s home, police said.
Authorities said they could not provide details of the DNA evidence leading to the arrest to avoid jeopardizing the charge in the case.
“We can’t go into detail,” said Will County Glasgow County Attorney. “I think probably everyone in the media is aware of this procedure and these detectives have used it with great experience and led to the charges brought today.”
Whelpley, a retired welder, has been detained in Ramsey County, Minnesota, where he is awaiting extradition to Illinois, police said.
Will County Attorney’s Office has charged Wilpy with three counts of first-degree murder with a $ 10 million bond.
The Hanson family said in a statement that they were grateful to everyone who had worked on the case over the years, according to police.
It had not been clear since Friday night whether Whipple had received a lawyer.