OCONTO — A former Lakewood elderly man convicted last year of killing a young Green Bay couple in Marinette County in 1976 has died.
Raymand Vannieuwenhoven died June 17 at Oshkosh Correctional Facility, said John Beard, director of communications for the Wisconsin Department of Corrections. He was 85 years old.
Beard could not provide a cause of death, saying it will be determined by the medical examiner. However, Vannieuwenhoven was using a wheelchair shortly after his arrest and was receiving daily nursing care at Marinette County Jail while awaiting trial.
He lived less than 10 months after being sentenced in Marinette County to two consecutive life terms on August 26, despite having been in custody for nearly 2½ years.
Vannieuwenhoven was convicted on July 27 of two counts of first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of 25-year-old David Schuldes and 24-year-old Ellen Matheys. Matheys had also been raped.
They were killed on July 9, 1976, just hours after arriving at the McClintock Park campground in the town of Silver Cliff. They planned to get married a few months later.
“I am pleased that the families of Ellen Matheys and David Schuldes were able to obtain justice before Mr. Vannieuwenhoven’s death,” said Marinette County District Attorney DeShea Morrow, who prosecuted the case with Mark Williams, a retired Milwaukee County assistant district attorney.
“Ellen and David were murdered in their mid-twenties with their whole lives ahead of them, and their families had to go over 40 years without an answer to what happened to them. Mr. Vannieuwenhoven’s cruel actions have affected these families for life.
Morrow added that “no loss of life is insignificant. Mr. Vannieuwenhoven has many members of his family, and I would like to extend my condolences to them.
Vannieuwenhoven was among dozens of people across the country – both murder suspects and victims – who were identified by a Virginia company, Parabon Nanolabs, using “genetic genealogy” in decades-old cases. .
In late 2018, Parabon used TAUT recovered from Matheys’ clothing and retained by the Marinette County Sheriff’s Office to create a profile that the company said matched a couple’s four sons or two grandsons. Green Bay.
Authorities surreptitiously obtained TAUT samples from two of Vannieuwenhoven’s brothers, who were close but not compatible. To obtain Vannieuwenhoven’s TAUT, investigators concocted a ruse to have him fill out a survey, then lick an envelope to seal it inside.
After a matched TAUT test, Vannieuwenhoven was arrested days later in March 2019.
After: Police used a genealogy site to arrest a suspect in the Wisconsin campground murders. Have they gone too far?
After: Elderly Lakewood man charged with 1976 murder of Green Bay couple has been found guilty
Along with the murder counts, Vannieuwenhoven was also initially charged with first-degree sexual assault on Matheys, but this was dismissed early in the case by Judge James Morrison, after determining that the statute of limitations had passed.
In 1976, Vannieuwenhoven and his family were living in Suamico, and he was a steelworker who sometimes worked out of town and enjoyed hunting and fishing, according to trial testimony from one of his children. They moved to Lakewood in 1996 or 1997. His wife died in 2011.
Vannieuwenhoven had maintained his innocence, telling Morrison he was not guilty on his first court appearance. He spoke little throughout his many hearings. During his sentencing, he told Morrison that “the whole damn (thing) was rigged. Everything from the start.
One of his children, Denise Jackett, expressed a similar sentiment during a brief chat with the Oconto County Reporter on Wednesday.
“I don’t think it was going well anyway,” Jackett said. “I think there were other people involved, but they’re probably all dead.”
FOR MORE OCONTO COUNTY NEWS: Visit our website
Contact Kent Tempus at (920) 431-8226 or [email protected]
This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press-Gazette: Wisconsin Campground Killer Raymand Vannieuwenhoven Dies in Jail