A man who was questioned in 1974 about the killing of a woman who was stabbed 38 times in her western Minnesota home has now been charged with her murder.
Algene Vossen was questioned shortly after the body of 74-year-old Mae Herman was discovered by her sister in Willmar on Jan. 27, 1974.
But it was only after advances in DNA testing and another look at the case that now-79-year-old Vossen was arrested Thursday in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where he currently lives.
He was being held in the Minnehaha County Jail in South Dakota pending extradition to Kandiyohi County, where he has been charged with second-degree murder.
Investigators interviewed Vossen a month after Herman’s slaying 46 years ago, but he denied knowing anything about her death, other than what others told him or what he heard on the radio or read in newspapers, according to a criminal complaint.
Vossen did admit to window peeping on two occasions, including once in Willmar, and said he selected the houses at random.
Willmar Police Chief Jim Felt said the department worked with multiple agencies in Minnesota and South Dakota to identify a suspect after the creation of a cold case unit last month, the West Central Tribune reported.
That’s when Vossen’s name came up again. However, this time DNA sampling techniques had been developed that weren’t available when Herman was killed.
Evidence was sent to the Minnesota BCA Crime Lab that identified a suspect, leaving cops to find out who the person was through a DNA match.
Police later went to Vossen’s Sioux Falls home with a search warrant to collect his DNA earlier this month.
Vossen again denied knowing Herman and said he wasn’t at her house before she was killed because he was at the American Legion, according to the complaint.
He maintained his innocence and told the detectives he wasn’t concerned about the DNA collection because he wasn’t involved in the slaying, the complaint said.
But the DNA match came back linked to the suspect and Vossen was charged, authorities said.