July 21, 1985, fifteen year old Kristina Wesselman was home with her mom after school at the Glenbard South High School in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. She left home and walked to the local store just to buy some candy for her and her mother. Her mother Sandy reportedly said “be careful princess” and saying “I love you” before watching Kristina leave their home.
Witnesses say they saw Kristina in the shop where she bought the candy and headed home. There’s a path which is commonly used by the kids in the area to go in to town or to the McDonald’s that was there at the time. Later that night her family reported her missing when she hadn’t returned home.
The DuPage County Sheriff’s Detective Kevin Buchholz followed Kristina’s steps to the store when “He found Kristy nearby, lying on her side as if asleep, about 11 a.m. in a thicket of chest-high weeds. An attacker had stabbed her eight times in the chest, and she was raped. She was found partially clothed, and a shoelace was left wrapped around her neck.
This path was by the Jewel Food Store on Route 56 and Route 53 in the Valley View subdivision. Police believe she may have been abducted off the path in broad daylight.
The DuPage County Sheriff’s Office listed her on their website as an unsolved murder in hopes of receiving information that would bring justice to Kristina and her family. The Tribune said that 'Kristy was killed in broad daylight just feet away from a backyard where a family was having a barbecue. The murder weapon was not found, nor was the pearl ring that was missing from her finger. The assailant left behind scant physical evidence beyond his semen.'
Thirty years later, Michael R Jones was convicted of domestic battery and was required to submit a DNA sample in a separate, unrelated incident, which was then submitted to a national database, which then linked him to Kristina’s murder. They did retest his DNA for a second confirmation. Jones was charged with Kristina’s murder in 2015. He had a history of sexual violence. He moved to Champaign after he was released from prison in 1983. He was convicted for a 1977 case for kidnapping a woman by knocking her off a bicycle, taking her at gunpoint to his home where he sexually assaulted her. The Chicago Tribune reported that “The victim was beaten, raped and hung by a rope until unconscious. Jones released her in a hospital parking lot, and the woman later recalled enough details to identify him.” He had assaulted another woman prior but he was not convicted.
The Tribune also stated that “prosecutors charged him with a felony rather than a misdemeanor because it was his second domestic battery offense. In the earlier case, he burned the teenage daughter of a girlfriend with hot grease after hitting her with a skillet as she prepared dinner.
The 2002 Truth in Sentencing Law requires felons in Illinois to submit a DNA sample to law enforcement. Every felon sentenced on or after Aug. 22, 2002 is required to provide a DNA sample, whether they are under the supervision of the Department of Corrections or a county jail or probation.
September 18, 2015 was the day law enforcement arrested Jones for Kristina's murder.
Jones was a handyman, and was never listed as a suspect. He had no links to Kristina or her family. The Chicago Tribune reported that “He has pleaded guilty to attacking three women in separate crimes and was accused of harming two others besides Kristy in allegations that never went to court. Authorities said they are investigating whether he might be responsible for other unsolved crimes.”
It seems as though he frequented trips to visit family toward the Illinois-Wisconsin state line. Sadly enough this doesn’t end here. It seems his wife at the time of the arrest supports this killer. I’m not sure if she talks to him or visits him, but the fact is she publicly supported him and said she loved him.
In 2018 he was finally found guilty and sentenced to eighty years in prison. Incredibly, law enforcement that worked on Kristina’s case and others that trailed Jones’ crimes attended court. Specifically, Kevin Buchholz, the Detective that walked her trail and found her lifeless body in 1985.
Kristina was buried at the Saint Michael’s Cemetery in Wheaton.
Jones entered the prison on January 26, 2018, resides at Western Illinois Correction Center. His parole date is set for 9/16/2095 and expected discharge date is 9/18/2098.
Kristina was laid to rest at Saint Michaels Cemetery in Wheaton, Illinois.