A DNA match has led to an arrest in the 3-decades-old Kristina Wesselman cold case of sexual assault and murder in a Chicago suburb.
Wesselman was 15 when she was assaulted and killed while on her way home from a grocery store in Glen Ellyn on July 21, 1985. Her body was found in a field the day after she disappeared. Authorities said she was stabbed eight times and sexually assaulted.
Notably, a DNA profile of Wesselman's attacker was created after medical personnel performed a rape kit during her autopsy and found semen in her body.
Now, Michael Jones, 62, is being held without bond in the DuPage County Jail after a match with DNA from his earlier convictions was enough to arrest him over the weekend, prosecutors told WLS-TV
"Since the date of the tragic murder, the case has remained open and active," said DuPage County Sheriff John Zaruba, according to the Chicago Sun-Times
. "Over the last 30 years the Sheriff's Cold Case Unit has worked hundreds of leads that have sent them across the nation and thousands of man hours have been spent to catch the killer in his horrendous crime."
Authorities said they received new information on the Wesselman case on Sept. 10, which lead to a search warrant being conducted at Jones' home in Champaign on Friday. He was charged in the crime on Sunday.
Bill Wesselman, Kristina Wesselman's brother, told the Chicago Tribune
that even though he believed that scientific evidence would eventually lead authorities to a suspect in his sister's case, he felt "shock and awe" by the discovery.
"I suspected it would be something like this — where DNA was taken and a match was made," said Bill Wesselman.
DuPage State's Attorney Robert Berlin said Jones has denied killing Wesselman and claimed he never met her, but added that he believed DNA evidence is unmistakable.
"It's been more than 30 years since the murder of Kristy Wesselman," said Berlin. "During that time, the pain, grief and fear felt by the Wesselman family and the entire community has never gone away."
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