MARINETTE COUNTY, Wis. (WLUK) -- In less than two weeks since investigators released new sketches of a suspect in a 1976 double homicide in Marinette County, there have been more than 40 new tips in the case.
The Marinette County Sheriff's Department sent a Virginia company $4,000 and a DNA sample to produce the new pictures. They show what the suspected killer likely looked like at the time of the crimes and now.
The case involves a young Green Bay couple camping in McClintock Park on the Peshtigo River in western Marinette County. Investigators say 25-year-old David Schudles and 24-year-old Ellen Matheys were murdered. They say Matheys was also sexually assaulted before she was killed.
“I figured we'd get a lot of information we've already run down, but we're getting more new names and information than I thought we would have and it's still coming in,” said Marinette County Sheriff Jerry Sauve.
Since publicly unveiling the new suspect pictures July 9, Sauve says callers have provided more than a dozen names as possible suspects. DNA samples collected in previous investigations have already ruled out nine people from being a match to the killer's DNA.
Sauve says new DNA swabs were collected and sent in for testing from four people that were not on the department’s radar before the new sketches were released.
“There will be more of that done, that is just the start,” said Sauve.
Parabon Snapshot is the company that produced the pictures from the sheriff department's DNA sample. Its website lists several cases from across the country that it says its technology has helped solve. On the company's website, you can see how the Snapshot pictures compare to the people arrested for the unsolved crimes.
Sauve says in his department's case, some of the people accused are better matches for the Snapshot pictures than others.
“I can tell you that they went out just yesterday and as soon as they looked at the person they kind of ruled it out, because of what we know now,” said Sauve. “But look at the percentages here for skin color, eye color, hair color, freckling. We know what it has to be. So they weren't too encouraged, but then there is others where they're getting ready to go and they're pulling up from investigation sources what the person may look like and it's much more encouraging.”
Technology has provided some hope in this case before. Sauve says in 1996 the sheriff's department submitted the DNA from this case to a national database. When someone commits a crime their DNA is entered into this system. All these years, detectives have been hoping for a match that still hasn't come.
“You just hope that someday you get that call,” said Sauve.
FOX 11 asked Sauve if that means the person who committed these crimes has been well-behaved in his later life.
“Or he is dead,” Sauve responded. “If that is the case, for closure, for clearance, for those victims' families and for us and all the good investigative effort that has gone into this for this long, we would take it right to a tombstone if that's what it came to.”
Sauve says the results from the new DNA swabs sent in for testing should be returned in the next few weeks.
Relatives of the victims told FOX 11 two weeks ago they were hopeful, but would not talk on camera.
Source : https://fox11online.com/news/local/dna-collected-from-four-new-people-for-marinette-countys-1976-double-homicide1066