MARINETTE — A competency hearing will take place next month for the suspect in a Marinette County double murder more than four decades ago.

Raymond Vannieuwenhoven, 83, Lakewood, faces two counts of first-degree murder for the double slaying of a young couple on July 9, 1976, at McClintock Park in the Town of Silver Cliff.

The suspect is accused of shooting to death David Schuldes, 25, and his fiancee Ellen Matheys, 24, both of Green Bay. Matheys was sexually assaulted before she was killed.  A charge of first-degree sexual assault was dismissed.

Vannieuwenhoven was arrested at his home last March because of great police work and science. For years, the crime was relegated to cold case status, but advanced DNA technology ultimately led to an arrest. A break came in 2018 when the Marinette County Sheriff’s Department worked with Parabon NanoLabs, a Virginia company that specializes “in phenotyping DNA and predicting physical appearance and ancestory” of crime suspects based on unidentified DNA evidence. The company generated snapshots of what the suspect might look like at age 25 and age 65. 

Sheriff Jerry Sauve, shortly after the arrest, said the DNA profile was able to pinpoint the ethnic origin of the suspect right down to surnames and eventually his department was provided names of people to start working with and ruling people out.

The State Crime Lab informed local investigators of the match, who then informed Sauve.

The competency hearing is set for 2 p.m. March 19 in Judge Jim Morrison’s Branch 2 courtroom.