UPDATE JANUARY 2018: Jones was convicted and sentenced to 80 years in prison.
UPDATE NOVEMBER 26, 2017: Michael R. Jones is headed for trial in January 2018.
UPDATE SEPTEMBER 21, 2015: After 30 years, an arrest has been made in Kristy’s murder. Michael R. Jones, 62, of Champaign, was charged Sunday morning with two counts of murder and one count of aggravated criminal sexual assault, said sheriff’s spokeswoman Dawn Domrose. He was being held in DuPage County Jail and will appear in bond court Monday (Chicago Tribune).
CHICAGO — On Sunday, July 21, 1985, 15-year-old Kristina “Kristy” Wesselman walked to a local grocery store in unincorporated Glen Ellyn, Illinois, to buy some candy before spending the day watching old movies with her mother, Sandy Wesselman.
“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,” said her mother.
Video footage from the store showed Kristy standing in line, waiting to pay for her candy.
After leaving the now-demolished Jewel grocery store, Kristy headed down a 150-yard path that was a shortcut to her nearby home in the Valley View Subdivision.
But on this warm summer day, a bloodthirsty killer was waiting and ready to pounce. When the
unknown killer saw the pretty blonde teenager, he grabbed her, took her to a wooded area near her home, and raped her. He then stabbed her eight times. Her body was found the next day.
Lead detective Kevin Bucholz, then 32 years old, spent the following five months checking out alibis, searching the field for clues, and canvassing Kristy’s neighborhood.
“The challenging thing was the fact there really was nobody to zero in on,” Buchholz, who is now retired, told the Daily Herald from his home in Hollywood, Fla. Police believe that Kristy was attacked from behind as she made her way down the short path.
In 2000, police officials entered that little bit of DNA taken from the crime scene into a national database consisting of more than 500,000 profiles of people convicted of violent crimes.
Nothing came from it.
On July 21, 2011, local police finally released a critical clue from the case – on her left hand, Kristy was wearing a yellow gold family heirloom ring with a chipped pearl in the center. The ring disappeared with the killer.
Twenty-seven years later, the killer has still not been found (please see updates below), but Sandy vows never to stop searching for her daughter’s killer.
“On the day of Kristy’s funeral I silently promised her I would never stop trying to find the person who killed her. I didn’t know that was going to be lifetime process,” said Sandy, who attended a news conference on the ring.