Charges: DNA from hockey game napkin tied Isanti man to 1993 cold case murder

An Isanti, Minnesota man has been charged with second degree murder for allegedly killing a woman 26 years ago

Jerry Westrom, 52, has been charged in the killing of 35-year-old Jeanne Childs in June 1993. 

Childs, who was working as a prostitute at the time, was found stabbed to death in an apartment being she would occasionally use for meetings with customers. Investigators collected a number of items that would be tested for DNA. 

In 2018, over 25 years after the killing, investigators consulted with a geneaologist that had worked with them on previous cold cases. Using commercial geneology websites, they were able to match DNA gathered from the scene with two people, one of whom was Westrom. 

Additionally investigators learned Westrom had lived in Twin Cities metro at the time of the killing. Westrom also has an arrested related to solicitation of prostitution in 2016. 

Police were able to get a sample of Westrom's DNA by trailing him to a hockey game in January 2019. It was there Westrom placed a napkin he had used to wipe his mouth inside a cardboard food container and threw both items away. 

DNA testing by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension showed a mixture of DNA, but "the major male profile was consistent with DNA sample recovered from the (1993 murder) scene."

Westrom was located and taken into custody earlier this week. He is expected to make his first court appearance on Friday. 

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman has planned a news conference for 1:30 p.m. Thursday regarding the charges in the double murder as well as charges filed in a 1993 cold case murder