LAKEWOOD, Wis. (AP) — The news of his neighbor’s arrest hit Wayne Sankey like a thunderbolt.
It was too much to believe: The text message from Sankey’s friend said his next-door neighbor — the helpful, 82-year-old handyman with a gravelly voice — had been arrested and authorities were saying he was a cold-blooded killer.
Investigators said they used genetic genealogy to connect Raymand Vannieuwenhoven (van-EE’-ven-HOO’-ven) to the killings 43 years ago of a young couple, David Schuldes and Ellen Matheys.
The widower and father of five grown children had lived quietly for two decades among the 800 residents of Lakewood, a northern Wisconsin town about 25 miles southwest from the site of the murders. Now he was being held on a $1 million bond.
He had lived in plain sight, yet outside detectives’ radar.