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Isanti man indicted for first-degree murder in 1993 cold case

Jerry Westrom turned himself in on Monday.
Credit: Hennepin County Jail
Jerry Westrom mug shot

MINNEAPOLIS — A man already charged with second degree murder for a 1993 homicide is set to make his first court appearance Tuesday afternoon on a first-degree murder indictment.

Jerry Westrom of Isanti, was indicted by a Hennepin County Grand Jury June 25 in the death of 35-year-old Jeanie Childs on June 13, 1993.

The 54-year-old Westrom turned himself in on Monday. This comes after a warrant was issued for his arrest following the grand jury indictment, as he had previously posted bail in February of 2019 after he was originally charged with second-degree murder. 

The homicide occurred on the 3100 block of Pillsbury Avenue South. Property management for an apartment building on the block said they were alerted by a tenant that water was coming into her apartment.

The water was coming from an adjacent apartment where Childs often stayed, according to the criminal complaint. 

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"Upon entry in the apartment, water was found to be overflowing from an unoccupied, running shower. Water and blood were present throughout the bathroom and connected bedroom. Childs’ body was found on the bedroom floor," prosecutors said.

Authorities were called and it was determined the apartment belonged to someone Childs had been dating who was out of the area at the time, and that she used the apartment for prostitution, the criminal complaint states.

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office said the victim died from multiple sharp force injuries.

Items in the apartment were tested for DNA and an unknown DNA profile was found on several of them.

"In 2018, police enlisted the services of a genealogist who supplied Westrom’s name as an individual who shared familial traits to the unknown profile that was developed at the crime scene," prosecutors said.

In 2019, police were able to obtain a napkin that Westrom wiped his mouth with inside a hockey arena, and linked the DNA profiles from the crime scene to him, authorities said.

Prosecutors also said that Westrom's footprints matched several bloody footprints found at the scene.

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