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Killer Dies Less Than A Year After Convicted For Decades-Old Murder Of Young Couple

Raymand Vannieuwenhoven died just months after being convicted of the 1976 murders of David Schuldes and Ellen Matheys, who were engaged.

By Gina Tron
Raymand Vannieuwenhoven Ap

A Wisconsin man who was recently convicted of a decades-old murder of a Wisconsin couple has now died behind bars. 

Raymand Vannieuwenhoven, 85, died on Friday at Oshkosh Correctional Institution, the state's Department of Corrections spokesperson John Beard told the Green Bay Press Gazette

Beard has not immediately responded to Oxygen.com’s request for comment.

He did not provide a cause of death to the Press Gazette, specifying that a medical examiner will conduct an autopsy on the convicted murderer. 

In August, Vannieuwenhoven was sentenced to serve multiple consecutive life sentences for the 1976 murders of an engaged couple — 25-year-old David Schuldes and 24-year-old Ellen Matheys. The two were found shot to death in McClintock Park in Marinette County, and Matheys had been raped.

The couple, who'd planned to wed in a few months, were out walking when Vannieuwenhove shot Schuldes. Vannieuwenhove then chased down Matheys and sexually assaulted her before shooting her twice in the chest.

DNA linked Vannieuwenhoven to their slayings in 2019 through the services of the Virginia genetic genealogy lab Parabon Nanolabs.

Genetic genealogists determined that a DNA sample taken from the scene came from someone in the Vannieuwenhoven family. Investigators then used DNA obtained from a licked envelope for a survey on police performance to match it to Raymand Vannieuwenhoven specifically. He was originally also charged with sexual assault, but that charge was dismissed due to the statute of limitations.

He was convicted of two counts of first-degree intentional homicide a month before his sentencing. 

“I am gratified that the families of Ellen Matheys and David Schuldes were able to get justice before Mr. Vannieuwenhoven passed away,” Marinette County District Attorney DeShea Morrow told the Press Gazette. “Ellen and David were murdered in their mid-20s with their whole lives in front of them, and their families had to spend over 40 years with no answers for what happened to them. Mr. Vannieuwenhoven’s cruel actions affected these families for a lifetime.”

During Vannieuwenhoven’s sentencing hearing, he insisted in a rambling speech that he was innocent. He claimed that “the whole damn (thing) has been rigged. Everything, right from the word go.”

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