Slain girl's brother hopeful after DNA brings suspect in 1985 Glen Ellyn murder

  • Michael Jones

    Michael Jones

  • Bill Wesselman, brother of Kristina Wesselman, speaks during a news conference during which murder charges were filed against Michael Jones, 62, of Champaign.

      Bill Wesselman, brother of Kristina Wesselman, speaks during a news conference during which murder charges were filed against Michael Jones, 62, of Champaign. Mark Black | Staff Photographer

  • DuPage County State's Attorney Robert B. Berlin announces the murder charges against Michael Jones in the 1985 murder of 15-year-old Kristina Wesselman of Glen Ellyn.

      DuPage County State's Attorney Robert B. Berlin announces the murder charges against Michael Jones in the 1985 murder of 15-year-old Kristina Wesselman of Glen Ellyn. Mark Black | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 9/22/2015 4:52 AM

Bill Wesselman said he never gave up hope his sister's murder 30 years ago would be solved someday. He also suspected it would eventually be a DNA match that would crack the case.

His hope appeared to be on track Monday, with authorities beginning to lay out their case against 62-year-old Michael R. Jones of Champaign, who faces murder and sexual assault charges in connection with the 1985 fatal stabbing and rape of 15-year-old Glenbard South High School sophomore Kristina Wesselman.

 

Jones was linked to the crime through a DNA sample he was required to give after pleading guilty this summer to aggravated domestic battery in Champaign County. His DNA matched samples from the 1985 murder scene that had been filed in a national database in 2000, DuPage County State's Attorney Robert Berlin said.

"This profile would be expected to occur in 1 in 1.5 quadrillion Caucasians," Berlin said.

Judge Daniel Guerin ordered no bail for the 62-year-old Jones, who appeared in court in a yellow prison jumpsuit amid extreme courthouse security; nine sheriff's deputies were in the courtroom.

Jones faces two counts of murder and one count of aggravated criminal sexual assault stemming from the July 21, 1985, murder of 15-year-old Kristina, who was stabbed eight times and sexually assaulted in broad daylight on a wooded path behind a Jewel Food Store at Butterfield Road and Route 53 that led to her home in the nearby Valley View subdivision near Glen Ellyn.

Bill Wesselman expressed relief in seeing Jones in custody.

"Seeing him in the courtroom today, it was nice to finally have someone of interest." he said. "I understand that right now he is only accused, so I'm trying to keep a level head."

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Kristina's body, nude from the waist down, was found in a pile of leaves near a half-eaten candy bar and soda bottle by a sheriff's deputy about 11 a.m. the following day.

"It's been more than 30 years since the horrific murder of Kristy Wesselman. During that time the pain, the grief and the fear felt by the Wesselman family and the entire community has never gone away," Berlin said. "The family of Kristy Wesselman and the people of DuPage County are one step closer to obtaining the full measure of justice that they so richly deserve."

The 30-year-old cold case broke Sept. 10, when the DNA match came to light. A search warrant was conducted at Jones' Champaign address on Friday, police said, and he was arrested Sunday.

Berlin said Jones "denied ever being in Glen Ellyn." When investigators showed him a photo of Kristina, he told them, "As God as my witness, I've never seen her before," Berlin said.

When Kristina was murdered, Jones was on parole. He had served seven years of a 10- to 20-year term for an August 4, 1977, Schiller Park sexual assault. In that case, Berlin said, Jones ran his car into a 27-year-old bicyclist, knocking her to the ground in Chicago. He then forced her into the car, bound her wrists and put a wool stocking cap over her head. He then drove to his parents' home in Schiller Park and repeatedly assaulted her there.

Jones is scheduled to be arraigned Oct. 13 before Judge John Kinsella.

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