Man gets 121 months in prison in 1983 Minneapolis cold case rape, murder

A St. Louis Park, Minnesota man was sentenced Tuesday to 121 months in prison, the maximum sentence, for the rape and murder of a17-year-old girl in Minneapolis in 1983. 

Last month, a judge found Darell Rea, 64, guilty of killing Laurie Mesedahl in 1983. The teenager’s body was found by the Soo Line Railroad yard. An autopsy showed she had been raped, strangled and then beaten to death.

Investigators had long suspected Rea, who had a violent criminal history. But, it was not until 2017 that forensic scientists used DNA and other evidence to finally charge him. 

At the sentencing Tuesday, the victim’s stepbrother, a former police officer, broke down as he told the judge there was no sentence that would be fair. 

"It's horrifying that one man could carry so much evil inside,” Del Young said. “We are truly looking at the devil himself...Everyone in this courtroom believes that this man should get the death penalty, or life in prison….to ever allow this man to walk the streets again puts the public at such an extreme danger that it is inconceivable that it would be allowed. Some young lady will suffer again because of the decision that's being made."

When asked if he had anything to say, Rea, who continues to deny he had anything to do with the young woman's murder, declined, saying, “I don't think it would change anything.”