A former University of Texas student accused of killing a female janitor at the school in 1983 has been added to the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives List.
Robert Francis Van Wisse, 51, has been on the run for more than 20 years, according to an FBI press release Tuesday.
He was initially ruled out as a suspect in the death of Laurie Stout, a 22-year-old mother who was working late the night she was sexually assaulted and strangled with a wire.
Van Wisse had been in the building around the same time, registering for a class, and detectives believed he was the last person to see Stout.
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But “DNA and other tests were not as sophisticated then,” said Justin Noble, a special agent with the FBI’s Central Texas Violent Crimes Task Force.
The case went cold until the 1990s, when Austin police received new DNA test results that “pointed directly to Van Wisse,” Noble said.
Van Wisse fled before he was charged with capital murder in 1996.
“No matter how much time has passed,” Noble said, “it’s important that we finally get justice for the victim and her family.”
Authorities are offering $100,000 for information leading directly to Van Wisse’s arrest.
Van Wisse is believed to have worked as an English teacher in Mexico. He might be working in the medical field or on a coconut and banana plantation in Mexico, according to the FBI.