Suspect in 1972 Naperville murder returned to Illinois, has first court appearance

  • Julie Ann Hanson, left and Barry Lee Whelpley. Whelpley is charged with the 1972 murder of 15-year-old Julie Ann Hanson.

    Julie Ann Hanson, left and Barry Lee Whelpley. Whelpley is charged with the 1972 murder of 15-year-old Julie Ann Hanson.

 
 
Updated 6/9/2021 11:48 AM

The man charged with killing a Naperville teenager 49 years ago has been returned to Illinois.

Barry Lee Whelpley, 76, of Mounds View, Minnesota, waived extradition from Minnesota. He had been at the Ramsey County, Minnesota, jail since his June 2 arrest. Naperville police brought him to the Will County jail on Tuesday.

 

He was charged last week with stabbing 15-year-old Julie Ann Hanson to death on July 7, 1972. Her body was found the next day in a cornfield near 87th Street and Modaff Road.

Whelpley appeared Wednesday morning, via closed-circuit television, before Will County Judge David M. Carlson. The judge informed Whelpley of the charges. His next court date is Friday. At that time, he's expected to tell the judge if he has been able to hire a lawyer. He is being held on $10 million bail.

Whelpley will have a June 24 court date for a preliminary hearing or, possibly, arraignment.

Hanson disappeared while riding a bicycle to her brother's baseball game. Her sister reported her missing the next afternoon.

Hanson's brother and sister attended Wednesday's hearing. They declined to comment afterward.

At the time of Hanson's murder, Whelpley lived in Naperville.

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He was married with two daughters and working as a welder, according to authorities and DuPage County court records.

Police said they used DNA evidence, studied by a forensic genetic genealogy investigative company, to connect Whelpley to the crime.

At the time of the crime, the then-coroner said Hanson had been sexually assaulted. But Whelpley has not been charged with sexual assault.

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