GLEN ELLYN, Ill. (WBBM/CBS) — Twenty-six years to the day after a 15-year-old girl from unincorporated Glen Ellyn was raped and murdered, police on Thursday released previously undisclosed information about the case.
The information really isn’t new — to detectives, anyway. Murder victim Kristy Wesselman wore a family heirloom ring the day she was murdered, and the killer apparently took it.
Authorities are hoping someone knows the current whereabouts of the ring, which is gold and size 4 1/2. The setting holds a chipped pearl.
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Police kept that secret until now, hoping to weed out false confessions and clear suspects. They’re hoping it prompts new leads.
“There’s a man out there who thinks he got away with murder,” the teen’s mother, Sandy Wesselman, told reporters at a news conference. “Please help us take away his dream. He stole all of Kristy’s.”
Police tracked about 25 leads the past year, the most recent two weeks ago. Authorities continue to offer a $10,000 reward for information that leads to a conviction. Police are conducting a canvass of the 120 long-time residents of Kristy’s subdivision.
DuPage County Sheriff’s Police Cold Case Squad Sgt. Robert Harris says he believes the case can still be solved.
“I don’t want to say I’m 100 percent confident, but I’m almost there,” Harris said. “We strongly believe that this killer was from this area and that someone has a bit of information that they can give to us.”
Harris said the killer may use the ring as a way to relive the crime.
On July 21, 1985, Kristy Wesselman and her mother intended to spend the day watching old movies. Sandy Wesselman asked Kristy to buy some candy at a nearby supermarket.
“I watched her go out the door, and I said, ‘Be careful, princess. I love you.’ Little did I know that those were the last words I would ever say to my daughter,” Sandy said.
Video caught Kristy standing in line at the now-demolished Jewel supermarket at the corner of Butterfield Road and Illinois 53. She left the store on a well-traveled path used by residents of the nearby subdivision, in which she lived.
But on the path, she encountered her killer. She was raped and stabbed eight times. The body was found a day later.
Kristy was about to enter her sophomore year at Glenbard South High School, had been freshman class president, had been chosen sophomore class president and played on its basketball and volleyball teams. She had told her mother that she hoped to become a psychologist and set up a practice in New York.
Police are asking anyone who may have information relevant to the investigation to call the Cold Case unit at (630) 407-2333.