A 79-year-old Sioux Falls man was arrested Thursday and is facing a second-degree murder charge in connection to a killing that happened in west-central Minnesota nearly 50 years ago.
The stabbing murder of 74-year-old Mabel Agnes Boyer Herman at her home in the 800 block of 6th St. SW in Willmar on the night of Jan. 27, 1974, had remained a mystery for decades, with the case having gone cold due to no clear suspects or information that could've led to an arrest.
A break in the cold case came this past June, when the Willmar Police Department reviewed case files and examined reports and evidence. During that two-week review, investigators found that Algene L. Vossen was a suspect in 1974, though evidence and interviews 46 years ago were inconclusive.
Through technological advances, investigators took "potential evidence on items that could be used for DNA analysis" and sent the well-preserved materials to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to be examined by a forensic scientist. The DNA on the evidence proved to be a match to Vossen.
Vossen was arrested on a warrant for second-degree murder at his home in Sioux Falls on Thursday. He is being held in the Minnehaha County Jail pending extradition to Minnesota.
Willmar Police Department concluded its statement with the following words of thanks to the officers who worked the case over the past five decades.
"Willmar PD would also like to acknowledge the considerable effort by many officers who have worked on this case over the past 46 years. Those investigating officers did a great job at careful evidence collection, packaging and preservation. With that, forensic scientists were able to use the evidence and test it with 2020's technology to help identify and tie in Vossen to the homicide. Unfortunately, most of the investigating officers have since passed away and won't see the conclusion of this case."