Wisconsin man, 82, charged with hiding corpse after 1983 murder

John C. Andrews arrested in Chilton, WI; he was convicted of killing Starkie Swenson in 1994
CHILTON, Wis. -- A Wisconsin man has been charged in a case where a victim's remains were found nearly four decades after a murder.

Investigators arrested 82-year-old John C. Andrews in Chilton, Wisconsin, WLUK reported.

He faces charges for hiding a corpse.

Nearly three decades since being convicted of Starkie Swenson's murder, Andrews is being charged with another felony -- hiding a corpse.

Calumet County District Attorney Nathan Haberman said the offense happened between June and September last year.

Swenson's remains were found in September, and, at that time, forensic anthropologist Dr. Jordan Karsten, who excavated the remains, concluded the person was placed there either at the time of death or shortly after.

In this case, that would've been in 1983.

Andrews pleaded guilty in 1994 to homicide by negligent use of a motor vehicle in the death of 67-year-old Starkie Swenson, who went missing in 1983. Prosecutors say Swenson and Andrews were involved in a love triangle and that Andrews ran over Swenson.

"My understanding of the law is that the statute of limitations on this class of felony is six years, so from 1983 to 2022 is far more than that, so there's a very real, in my opinion, a statute of limitations problem," defense attorney Jonas Bendereck said.

However, the DA made it clear the charge isn't for moving a corpse.

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"There's not an allegation that's in the criminal complaint about him moving the body. That simply is not something that we have evidence about, nor that we are charging him with," Haberman said. "The charges in the case are hiding a corpse, and part of the definition of hiding is keeping the location of the corpse unknown."

The charge stems from an interaction Andrews allegedly had with investigators in June of 2021.

According to the criminal complaint, he was asked to help locate Swenson and refused, stating that he's never seen or spoken to Swenson.

Swenson's remains were finally discovered in September of 2021 by two people hiking in High Cliff State Park, which is why the hiding of a corpse is said to have happened in that timeframe.

"Law enforcement continued to investigate what happened and continued to investigate where potentially the remains of Starkie Swenson were, and, in doing so, they asked Mr. Andrews for some assistance, because he was the only one who would know, according to them," Haberman said.

Still, the statute limitations would be brought up, yet again.

"That statute was created in 1991 by Act 205 in the state. This tells me that that statute was not in existence at the time that the state is alleging this crime occurred," Bendereck said.

The district attorney didn't address the statute of limitations issue and said that would be argued at a later time.

Associated Press contributed to this report.