Barry Lee Whelpley, 76, of Mounds View, Minnesota, was arrested last week and charged with first-degree murder in connection with Hanson's death, according to Naperville Police Chief Robert Marshall and Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow.
He was extradited to Illinois, and arrived at Will County Jail Tuesday, Naperville police said. Whelpley's bond was set at $10 million.
Hanson's body was found in a cornfield near 87th Street and Modaff Road almost 50 years ago, on July 8, 1972.
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Investigators said she had been sexually assaulted and stabbed 36 times. She was last seen leaving her home on a bike, police said.
"She was very personable, a very sweet girl," said Peggy Thompson, Hanson's neighbor. "She was only a couple of years older than us, but she babysat some of the kids in the neighborhood."
Police said DNA was the key to identifying Whelpley as a suspect. As a 27-year-old he lived about a mile from Hanson. One of his relatives apparently used a commercial DNA service to explore family history, which helped Dr. Colleen Fitzpatrick link him to a small sample of DNA from the crime scene. Naperville police took it from there.
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Last year, Naperville officials announced that they had checked the DNA from Bruce Lindahl, who died while fatally stabbing another in Naperville in 1981, but that he was not a positive match for the Hanson case.
Lindahl's murder of Pamela Maurer of Woodridge in 1976 was similar to that of Hanson, so officials wanted to compare just in case, as authorities said Lindahl had multiple victims.
Anyone with additional information regarding the investigation is encouraged to contact the Naperville Police Department at (630) 420-6665 and ask for the Investigations Division.