Barry Lee Whelpley Charged In 1972 Murder Of 15-Year-Old Julie Ann Hanson

CBS 2's Chris Tye reports police in Mounds View, Minnesota, arrested 76-year-old Barry Lee Whelpley on Wednesday in the 1972 murder of 15-year-old Julie Ann Hanson, who was reported missing on July 8, 1972.

Video Transcript

BRAD EDWARDS: It was the summer of 1972. Richard Nixon was president and the Watergate scandal was just beginning.

IRIKA SARGENT: In west suburban Naperville, a 15-year-old girl was biking to her brother's baseball game when she disappeared. Julie Ann Hanson's body was found later that day.

Now decades later, detectives say a simple swab to trace genealogy helped them crack the case. CBS2's Chris Tye is always investigating and digs into how police were ultimately able to make an arrest.

CHRIS TYE: One year before this case turns 50, police say they have cracked it. All based on evidence that's been sitting here since 1972. As science caught up, police this week caught up with a suspect they say was behind the murder of Julie Ann Hanson.

ROBERT MARSHALL: And as technology advanced in the areas of DNA and genealogy, there was always hope.

CHRIS TYE: But hope had grown thin in Naperville. 15-year-old Julie Ann Hanson was found raped and stabbed three dozen times in this field near her home in July of 1972. A small semen sample from clothing found on that scene was crucial. Degraded and contaminated, Naperville Police turned to DNA expert Colleen Fitzpatrick.

COLLEEN FITZPATRICK: It took us six months really to wrangle the DNA into the right, you know, kind of data that we needed.

CHRIS TYE: Her team ran the sample, which was measured at a trillionth of a gram against a database of volunteered information from clients at genealogy outfits like 23andMe. It was a long shot.

COLLEEN FITZPATRICK: This was the last resort. They tried it and it worked.

CHRIS TYE: They matched the DNA sample to this man, 76-year-old Barry Lee Whelpley. The retired welder was arrested at his home north of Minneapolis this week. He lived just blocks from the Hansons in Naperville back in '72. Tonight, he's enroute back to Will County to face murder charges.

ROBERT MARSHALL: Our investigation did not end today. We will continue to investigate the possibility that he may be involved in other crimes.

CHRIS TYE: The Hanson family tells CBS2 they are still processing all of this. The suspect in this case is being held on $10 million bond. In Naperville. Chris Tye, CBS2 News.