Minneapolis police announce arrest in 1993 murder of Jeanie Ann Childs

February 12, 2019 10:11 PM

Minneapolis police confirm a man was arrested Monday in Waite Park in connection to the 1993 murder of a 35-year-old woman.

The body of Jeanie Ann Childs was found in the bedroom of her apartment on the 21st floor of the Horn Towers, located at 3121 Pillsbury Avenue South in South Minneapolis on June 13, 1993.

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Police at the time said she had been stabbed repeatedly. They believed a suspect entered her apartment late that afternoon.

Her case had remained unsolved, but department Public Information Officer John Elder said Tuesday that advances in forensic DNA testing identified previously unknown DNA as being consistent with DNA left at the scene.

Sources said the suspect is 52-year-old Jerry Westrom, a former businessman in Isanti County, who has had contact with law enforcement in that area. Westrom is married and the father of two adult children. 

He is being held at the Hennepin County Jail on probable cause of murder. Elder said a charging decision is expected Wednesday. 

He said there was no known relationship between the man and Childs.

Elder said the arrest was the result of a multi-year investigation by Minneapolis police, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Forensic Laboratory, the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office and the FBI.

"Our efforts to increase public safety and ensure justice has no timeline," Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said in a statement. "This case is an excellent example of great collaboration between our law enforcement partners."

"We all hope [Jeanie's] family can finally find peace as a result of this tenacious effort by officers and agents," added in a statement from Jill Sanborn, the special agent in charge of the Minneapolis Division of the FBI.

"The case underscores law enforcement's ability to use every tool at its disposal to crack a case," she said.

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Beth McDonough

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