MARINETTE—The trial for an 84-year-old man charged with two murders that happened decades ago begins Monday in Marinette County Circuit Court Branch 2.
Raymand Vannieuwenhoven, Lakewood, was arrested more than 28 months ago. He is charged in a July 9, 1976, double murder of a Green Bay couple who was camping at McClintock Park in the Town of Silver Cliff. David Schuldes, 25, and Ellen Matheys, 24, were shot and killed at the campground. They were engaged.
Matheys was sexually assaulted, but that charge has been dismissed because the statute of limitations has elapsed. There is no statute of limitations for the two first-degree homicide charges against Vannieuwenhoven.
The case went cold for many years until about three years ago. Todd Baldwin, a detective with the Marinette County Sheriff’s Department for about 19 years, testified in February that he has been working on this case since the early 2000s. He explained how a breakthrough came in 2018 when Parabon Nanolabs of Virginia developed new technology to examine DNA evidence.
“They were coming up with new technology where they could give us certain genetic characteristics of possible suspects through the DNA,” Baldwin said in February.
On Dec. 21, 2018, Parabon contacted Baldwin and informed him that a possible suspect was found through the DNA testing.
“They gave us a certain family,” Baldwin said, adding that it was the Vannieuwenhoven family, which had four sons and four grandsons who possibly could be a match.
The detective’s next task was to obtain DNA from the possible suspects. He started with the four sons. Two (Cornelius and Edward) were quickly eliminated as suspects through DNA testing. A third son, Francis, is deceased.
That left Raymand Vannieuwenhoven’s DNA to be tested. Because Lakewood is in Oconto County, Baldwin sought the services of Darren Laskowski, the chief deputy in Oconto County and someone he said he has known through years of detective work.
Laskowski also testified in February and he described how he was asked by Baldwin to help in getting a DNA sample from the suspect under the guise of conducting a survey. He provided details of the visit, stating he sat at the suspect’s kitchen table, conducted the survey, had the suspect seal the envelope and then he returned the envelope to Baldwin.
Vannieuwenhoven was arrested in March 2019.
The case will be heard by Branch 2 Circuit Judge James Morrison.
Marinette County District Attorney DeShea Morrow and special prosecutor Mark Williams will handle the case for the state. The defense is under the direction of Lee Schuchart and Travis Crowell, attorneys with offices in Green Bay and Marinette. Shuchart is a Marinette native.
The trial begins at 8:30 a.m. Monday with jury selection. It’s likely that opening arguments will begin late morning/early afternoon and then the first witness will follow.