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State Justice Dept. taking over Laurie Depies cold case

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TOWN OF MENASHA, WI (WTAQ) - The state Justice Department has taken over the investigation into the abduction and murder of 20-year-old Laurie Depies in the Fox Valley two decades ago.

Town of Menasha police lieutenant Mike Krueger handled the case the entire time. But he retired last week. And after checking thousands of leads and traveling to investigate suspects, officials say Krueger was disappointed he couldn’t make an arrest.

Town Police Chief Rod McCants said the Justice Department has been involved with the Depies case for years. He says it makes more sense for the state to handle the case because, “they have more resources than we do.”

The 20-year-old Depies vanished from the parking lot of an apartment building on August 19th of 1992.

For now, the main suspect in Larry DeWayne Hall, who’s serving a life prison sentence in North Carolina. He has admitted kidnapping Depies and 38 other women from 1980 through ’94, but he only convicted in one death – that of a 15-year-old Illinois girl in 1993.

Town of Menasha Police have wanted to bring Hall to Wisconsin, in the hopes that he could lead them to Depies’ remains. But a series of federal and state approvals are required – and prosecutors say more physical evidence is needed to get Hall to leave prison.

His confession resulted in an extensive search for Depies’ body last year – but officers couldn’t find anything, despite the use of underground radar. 

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