Judge: DNA evidence in 1976 Wisconsin murders can be used

A Marinette County judge has ruled prosecutors can use DNA evidence collected through a phony police survey in the case against a man charged with killing a young couple in a county park more than four decades ago.

Eighty-three-year-old Raymand Vannieuwenhoven is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of 25-year-old David Schuldes and 24-year-old Ellen Matheys.

The two were fatally shot at McClintock Park in Marinette County on July 9, 1976.

The cold case was revived in 2019 when a DNA sample from evidence at the crime scene was determined to be from a particular family. A criminal complaint says that samples tested from Vannieuwenhoven’s brothers weren’t a match, but a sample from him obtained from a licked envelope for a survey on police performance was a match.

Defense attorney Lee Schuchart asked for the DNA sample to be thrown out, arguing Vannieuwenhoven’s Fourth Amendment rights were violated because police didn’t have a warrant and lied to him about the purpose of the survey and envelope, WLUK-TV reported.

But District Attorney DeShea Morrow noted there was no coercion, Vannieuwenhoven voluntarily cooperated with the law enforcement and he lost any control after turning over the envelope.

In court Friday, Judge James Morrison said the evidence can be used.

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