Naperville Police Chief Robert Marshall said: “This horrific crime has plagued this family, this community, and this department for 49 years.” “The investigation and the resulting allegations were truly a team effort spanning decades, and I could not be more proud of the determination and resourcefulness of our investigators, both past and present, who never left Julie.”
A suspect in the case could not be immediately identified. But after 49 years of continuous investigation, officers were arrested through technological advances in DNA and genetic genealogy analysis, Marshall said.
“It was never a cold case for our police department,” Marshall said. “We were all aware of Julie’s murder and were looking for the killer and we had Julie’s picture on our desk and investigated for all these years.”
Police said that at the time of Hanson’s murder, Velpley was 27 years old and lived within a mile of Hanson’s home.
Officials said they could not provide details about the DNA evidence that prompted the arrest to avoid endangering the prosecution of the case.
“We can’t go into specifics,” said Will County State Attorney James Glasgow. “I think probably everyone in the media is aware of this process, and these spies used it with great expertise, and as a result the charges were filed here today.”
Police said Velpley, a retired welder, was taken into custody in Ramsey County, Minnesota, where he awaits extradition to Illinois.
The Will County state attorney’s office has charged Velpley with three counts of first-degree murder with a $10 million bond set.
According to police, the Hanson family said in a statement that they are grateful to everyone who has worked on the case over the years.
As of Friday evening, it was unclear whether Velpley had obtained a lawyer.