Police have identified 52-year-old Jerry Westrom as the man who was recently arrested and charged for the June 1993 murder of 35-year-old woman Jeanne Childs.
Following a joint investigation by the MPD Cold Case Task Force, the FBI, and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, DNA evidence was able to link Westrom to the murder, 25 years after it happened.
According to the Minneapolis Police Department, investigators consulted with a genealogist back in 2018, who was able to match DNA gathered from the crime scene using commercial genealogy websites.
Police were able to obtain Westrom’s DNA back in January 2019, when they observed him wiping his mouth with a napkin at a hockey game.
After securing Westrom’s DNA, tests conducted by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension showed that the Westrom’s DNA “was consistent with DNA sample recovered from the (1993 murder) scene.”
Jeanne Childs, who was reportedly working as a prostitute when she was killed, was found stabbed to death in a Minneapolis apartment on June 13, 1993.
Following his arrest, Westrom has been charged with second-degree murder. He was scheduled to make his first court appearance on Friday, February 15.
In a statement, Minneapolis police spokesperson John Elder said that solving the case proved to be so difficult because there was “no known relationship between” Westrom and Childs.
“There is no known relationship between the individuals, and that’s what makes these sort of cases so hard to solve. And through forensics and through updated technology, we’re able to come back and get people placed under arrest for crimes they committed long ago,” Elder told reporters.
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