The Willmar Police Department concluded a 46 year old cold case investigation on Thursday with the arrest of a suspect in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, for the charge of 2nd degree murder. The individual was identified as Algene (Gene) Leeland Vossen, age 79, of Sioux Falls. He is currently being held in the Minnehaha County jail pending extradition to Minnesota.
The case goes back to January 27, 1974, when Willmar Police were called to a home in the 800 block of 6th Street SW after family members reported an elderly relative had not been answering her phone. Police identified the victim as Mabel (Mae) Agnes Boyer Herman, age 74, and determined she died of multiple stab wounds. A lengthy homicide investigation spanned several decades, but no clear suspects ever emerged that would lead to an arrest at the time.
Last month, the Willmar Police Department put together a temporary cold case review team. During the review, it was found that Vossen had been listed as a suspect in 1974, several weeks after the murder, but evidence was inconclusive. The team unearthed potential evidence on items that could be used for DNA analysis. A search warrant for a DNA sample of Vossen was granted and the DNA matched. Vossen was placed under arrest without incident at his home in Sioux Falls.