The man charged in the nearly 50-year-old murder case of Naperville resident Julie Ann Hanson has been extradited to Illinois. Barry Lee Whelpley, 76, was moved to the Will County Jail on June 8.
His first court appearance was yesterday in Will County. He has another tomorrow to inform the court if he’s hired a lawyer. A preliminary court hearing is set for June 24, according to Will County Circuit Court documents.
Whelpley was arrested last week in Minnesota where he is a retired welder. Technological advancements in DNA and genetic genealogy analysis linked him to the 1972 murder of Hanson who was 15 years old, according to authorities. Whelpley was 27 at the time. He was a Naperville resident on the 600 block of S. Wehrli Road, within a mile of the Hanson’s home according to police.
“Unfortunately the offender was not immediately found and our department never, in five decades, gave up looking for Julie’s killer. The last 49 years we’ve chased many leads, identified many suspects, and all were eliminated through the exhaustive investigation by our detectives,” said Naperville Police Chief Bob Marshall at a June 4 news conference. “People often call these type of cases cold cases. This was never a cold case for our police department. We continually investigated this case throughout those 49 years.”
On July 8, 1972 Hanson borrowed her brother’s bike to go to a baseball game, but didn’t return home. Police said they found Hanson’s body later that day in a field in Naperville with multiple stab wounds near 87th Street and Modaff Road.
Whelpley has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder. His bond was set at $10 million.
Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.
photo courtesy: Naperville Police Department
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