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Genealogist leads to 82-year-old charged in 1976 cold case

March 22, 2019 GMT

MARINETTE, Wis. (AP) — An 82-year-old Wisconsin man has been charged in a 1976 double slaying after a genealogist used DNA evidence to narrow the list of possible suspects in the cold case.

Marinette County prosecutors charged Raymand Vannieuwenhoven on Thursday with first-degree murder in the fatal shootings of 25-year-old David Schuldes and 24-year-old Ellen Matheys. The couple were killed at a park in the town of Silver Cliff.

Vannieuwenhoven was also charged with sexually assaulting Matheys.

Investigators have searched for DNA matches in the cold case over the years, but they didn’t have any major leads until last year when they contacted a DNA lab in Virginia.


The company, Parabon NanoLabs, identified a broad genealogical background of the suspect. A genealogist was then able to narrow the suspect pool down to a specific family with ties to the Green Bay area, WLUK-TV reported.

Investigators said they secretly collected DNA samples from several brothers in the family, including Raymand Vannieuwenhoven. Investigators approached Vannieuwenhoven at his home under the pretense of conducting a survey about policing in the area. An officer had Vannieuwenhoven seal the survey in an envelope to test the saliva sample.

The crime lab determined he was a match to the DNA found at the crime scene more than 40 years ago.

No comments from Vannieuwenhoven are provided in the complaint.


Information from: WLUK-TV,