JEFFERSON, Wis. – For almost 30 years, no one knew who killed Tim Hack and Kelly Drew.
He was a farmer who drove a tractor nicknamed "The Lonesome Loser." She had just graduated from beauty school. Both 19, no one doubted that one day they'd get married.
Ironically, the high school sweethearts vanished from a wedding reception on Aug. 9, 1980. Two months later searchers found their decomposed bodies in the countryside only a few miles from the reception hall, setting off a whodunit that has haunted the small farming communities between Madison and Milwaukee for three decades.
Until now. On Thursday, Wisconsin investigators armed with a DNA match arrested a 76-year-old former handyman at the reception site, Edward W. Edwards, in Louisville, Ky. Prosecutors have charged him with two counts of first-degree murder.
District Attorney Susan V. Happ declined to comment on what led investigators back to Edwards, saying only that new evidence had emerged since they first questioned him in 1980.
Drew's mother, Norma Walker, said she was shocked when Jefferson County Sheriff Paul Milbrath told her the news Thursday night. But instead of closure, the arrest has only ripped open old wounds, said Walker, now 70. She doesn't want to hear about details and she's dreading a trial.
"You hope this day would come, but now that it's here, it's really hard. Everything starts all over again. All the memories come back," she said. "He robbed me of my daughter, robbed me of Christmases, birthdays, weddings, everything families do together."
Online records in Louisville-Jefferson County, Ky., showed Friday that Edwards was in custody and he did not yet have an attorney. He was scheduled to be arraigned Saturday morning on a fugitive warrant. If a judge decides the warrant is valid, an extradition hearing will be held, prosecutors said.
According to the criminal complaint, Hack's father reported the couple missing on Aug. 10, 1980. The couple was last seen leaving the reception at the Concord House, a dance hall in Sullivan, a town about 40 miles west of Milwaukee, around 11 p.m. the night before.
David Hack found his son's car in the hall's parking lot, still locked with his son's wallet inside. Five days later, investigators found Drew's shredded pants, panties and bra in the road about three miles from Concord House.
In October, hunters found Drew's body in the woods about eight miles from Concord House. The next day searchers found Tim Hack's body in the same area. A medical examiner found signs that Drew had been tied up and strangled, and her boyfriend had been stabbed.
Investigators learned Edwards was a handyman at the Concord House and campgrounds next to the hall. Witnesses remembered Edwards had a bloody nose during the weekend the couple disappeared. He said he had hurt it deer hunting.
The complaint said Edwards and his family left Wisconsin in September 1980, shortly after detectives initially questioned him.
They interviewed Edwards again in June in Louisville.
At first he denied hearing anything about the couple going missing, the complaint said, but when detectives pressed him he said he had beers at the Concord House and may have seen the couple. He also said he had never been deer hunting.
Investigators took DNA from him then. Earlier this month, authorities said the state crime lab matched it to semen on Drew's pants.
Investigators took Edwards into custody at his Louisville home Thursday without incident.
Hack's father, now 71, said all he wants to know now is why Edwards chose his son and his girlfriend.
"I'm glad it's over," David Hack said. "I don't know how you can't admit to it if the DNA matches."
Edwards faces life in prison if he's convicted.