A judge sentenced an 84-year-old man Thursday to consecutive life sentences in connection with an 1976 double homicide in northeastern Wisconsin. A jury convicted Raymand Vannieuwenhoven in July of killing 25-year-old David Schuldes and 24-year-old Ellen Matheys. They were found shot in McClintock Park in Marinette County. The couple were killed just two months before they were to be married. “He killed David Schuldes to get him out of the way, then raped Ellen Matheys, and then killed her.” In 2019, investigators determined that a DNA sample taken from evidence at the crime scene came the Vannieuwenhoven family. A DNA sample from Vannieuwenhoven himself obtained from a licked envelope for a survey on police performance that he filled out matched the sample from the scene.
Vannieuwenhoven gave a defiant and sometimes rambling statement during the sentencing hearing, criticizing District Attorney DeShea Morrow. The murder weapon was never found. Defense attorneys tried to introduce evidence implicating two other possible suspects but Morrison denied their motions, setting up a potential appeal. Vannieuwenhoven is one of roughly 150 cold case suspects across the country, mostly homicides, whose relatives were identified by the technique over the last three years, including two others in Wisconsin.