A break in a DuPage County murder case may help Kendall County Sheriff's officials to get a few steps closer in solving a nearly 40-year-old murder case.
DuPage County State's Attorney Robert Berlin said during a Monday, Jan. 13 news conference that investigative genealogy and DNA analysis identified Bruce Lindahl of Aurora as the murderer of 16-year-old Pamela Maurer of Woodridge. The findings officially closed the 1976 rape and murder case.
“As a result of this investigation, Bruce Lindahl’s DNA profile is now being used to investigate unsolved cases that may be solved as a result of the break in the Maurer case,” Berlin said.
One of those cases is the murder of Debra Colliander, who was raped and kidnapped by Lindahl in 1980 and disappeared shortly before she was set to destify against him in the related trial.
Kendall County Sheriff's Dep. Daniel Briars said Colliander disappeared in October 1980 after she left her job at Copley Hospital, then located on Lincoln Avenue on the near east side of Aurora.
"And that was the last time that anyone had contact with her," Briars said.
Briars said Colliander's body was found in 1982, buried in a farm field near Route 34 and Hafenrichter Road in then-unincorporated Oswego Township.
Berlin said investigators believe Colliander was murdered by Lindahl in order to prevent her from testifying against him in his rape case.
However, Briars said, there wasn't any viable DNA evidence collected from the scene due to circumstances of Colliander's case, the length of time that she was missing before her body was found and DNA evidence not being a readily-available mainstream technology at the time. He said police also believe Lindahl died in 1981 after bleeding to death from an accidental self-inflicted stab wound he sustained while he stabbed and killed 18-year-old Charles Huber Jr. of Naperville.
Briars said he echoes the messages other law enforcement agencies have given to the public at large.
“If anyone has any info that would assist in this case or that might be pertinent to any of these cases, please reach out and contact either the sheriff’s office or the other agencies that are involved in this investigation,” Briars said.
Law enforcement said they believe Lindahl has been responsible for other area murders from about 1974 to his death in 1981 and that he may have been a serial killer. They said Lindahl was active in the areas of Aurora, Lisle, Woodridge and Downers Grove.
Anyone with information on the Colliander murder case may contact the tip line for the Kendall County Sheriff's Office via phone at 630-553-4178 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.