Man Arrested for Murder of 15-Year-Old—in 1985

Sandra Wesselman was walking home from the grocery store
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 21, 2015 9:38 AM CDT
Michael R. Jones, 62, was arrested in Champaign Sunday morning and is being held in DuPage County Jail.   (DuPage County Sheriff's Office)

(Newser) – In July 1985, Sandra Wesselman was raped and stabbed to death, apparently while walking a 450-foot-long dirt path that led from a suburban Chicago grocery store to her home. The 15-year-old freshman and her mother had planned to watch movies together, and the teen had gone to the store to buy candy. Now, after 30 years of chasing down leads that Sheriff John Zaruba says have sent the cold-case unit "across the nation," detectives say they have their man. A new tip received on Sept. 10 led to the arrest of Michael R. Jones, 62. Zaruba did not release details about the lead. Jones was charged Sunday with two counts of murder and one count of aggravated criminal sexual assault, reports the Chicago Tribune. He is being held in DuPage County Jail.

Mother Sandra Wesselman, who now lives in Colorado, would not talk with the media about yesterday's arrest, but she said in 2011 that the day her daughter was found she vowed to never give up the hunt for the killer. "I didn't know that was going to be a lifetime process," she said. NBC News reports she previously recalled the last words she said to the girl: "Be careful princess, I love you." Sandra's body was found the next morning near the dirt path many kids used as a shortcut between the unincorporated Glen Ellyn neighborhood and the grocery store. Jones now lives in Champaign, about 150 miles south of where the crime occurred. (Is this the 20th century's most baffling cold case?)

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