Isanti businessman indicted by grand jury for 1st-degree murder in 1993 Minneapolis cold case

A Hennepin County grand jury has indicted an Isanti, Minnesota businessman and hockey dad for first-degree premeditated murder in the 1993 cold case murder of Jeanne Childs

Jerry Westrom, 54, was indicted on June 25, according to the Hennepin County Attorney's Office. A warrant was issued for his arrest immediately following the indictment as he had posted bail on February 15, 2019, the day after he was originally charged with second-degree murder. He turned himself in on Monday. 

Westrom will make his first court appearance on the first-degree murder indictment Tuesday afternoon. 

According to the charges, on June 13, 1993, Child’s body was found on the bedroom floor of the south Minneapolis apartment she used for prostitution services. She had been stabbed several times.

During the initial investigation, detectives collected several items from the apartment. The items were eventually tested for the presence of DNA and they found an unknown DNA profile on some of the items.  

In 2018, over 25 years after the killing, investigators consulted with a genealogist who supplied Westrom’s name as a person who shared familial traits to the unknown DNA profile that was developed at the crime scene.

Police began following Westrom in early 2019. In January of that year, they tailed him to a hockey game where they retrieved a napkin he threw away after using it to wipe his mouth. Police linked the DNA sample obtained from the napkin to DNA profiles at the crime scene. 

Westrom’s footprints also matched several bloody footprints found at the crime scene.