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Judge convicts man in 1983 slaying of teen in Minneapolis

May 1, 2019

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minnesota judge has convicted a man in the 1983 killing of a teenager in Minneapolis.

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman says 64-year-old Darrell Rea, of St. Louis Park, was found guilty of second-degree murder for the April 1983 death of 17-year-old Laurie Mesedahl. Freeman says Judge Tamara Garcia filed her verdict Wednesday and will follow up with written findings.

Police believe Mesedahl was raped, strangled to unconsciousness, driven to a train yard and beaten to death. DNA technology was not available at the time.

Authorities say blood tested in 1993 from a 1988 assault matched Rea’s DNA profile, but the case was beyond the statute of limitations. In 2013 his DNA was matched to a semen sample taken from Mesedahl’s body. After ongoing investigation he was charged in 2017.