Wisconsin Man Sentenced After DNA Connects Him To 1976 Double Homicide

Cold Case File

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An 84-year-old Wisconsin man received two life sentences for a 1976 double homicide.

According to FOX News, DNA connected Raymand Vannieuwenhoven to the four-decade-old murder of 25-year-old David Schuldes and 24-year-old Ellen Matheys. Investigators say in July of 1976, the two victims set up camp at a northeastern Wisconsin campsite and were heading for a walk when Vannieuwenhoven shot and killed Schuldes, then sexually assaulted and killed Matheys.

The case went unsolved for decades until 2018, when investigators worked with Parabon NanoLabs, a DNA technology company, to identify a DNA sample from Matheys' shorts. When the company put the DNA into a public genealogy database GEDmatch, it matched with someone in the Vannieuwenhoven family.

According to WLUK, the criminal complaint narrowed the suspect list down to one of the four Vannieuwenhoven brothers. Then, investigators used the process of elimination to find the actual suspect.

They first retrieved socks, a bandage and an inhaler from the garbage outside of Cornelius Vannieuwenhoven's home. The DNA was tested and Cornelius was not an exact match. Next, a neighbor agreed to keep a cup Edward Vannieuwenhoven used the next time he came over for coffee. His DNA was also tested and did not come back as an exact match.

Investigators then turned to Raymand. They approached his home in March of 2019 and asked him to fill out a survey about policing in the area then mail it in. Investigators used a saliva sample from the sealed envelope and his DNA was a match. He was then arrested eight days later.

On Friday (August 27), Judge James Morrison gave Vannieuwenhoven consecutive life sentences for the "depraved" and "unspeakable" crimes he committed, WLUK reported.

"From all the evidence that I know and have heard in this case, I don't think there was any reason to believe that Mr. Vannieuwenhoven even knew these two young people," Judge Morrison stated.

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