WAUPACA - A former Wisconsin man is now charged in an unsolved 1990 Waupaca County rape case. But the breakthrough may not end there.
Investigators say DNA testing may have provided the break they were looking for. Authorities say the testing connected Glendon Gouker to the unsolved rape case. And investigators say that case has common elements to the 1992 double-murder of 23-year-old Tanna Togstad and 35-year-old Tim Mumbrue in the town of Royalton near Weyauwega.
Gouker was originally a suspect in the 1990 sexual assault case. But authorities say there wasn't enough evidence to prosecute him at the time.
And the families of those killed hope investigators will soon be able to give them closure.
"It's been a lot of years," said Rick Togstad of the murder of his sister Tanna.
Togstad has more than 20 years of searching for answers in a shoebox.
"If I think about it, it gets me very angry, makes me very upset," he said.
In 1992, Togstad's sister Tanna and her boyfriend Tim Mumbrue were stabbed to death in a home in the Town of Royalton. Now Waupaca County authorities say Gouker, linked to a 1990 sexual assault in a park in Iola, could lead to a break in the murder case.
"This is huge. If we can get information for our double homicide case, even better," said Waupaca County Sheriff Brad Hardel.
While a state crime lab analysis in 2011 matched Gouker's DNA to DNA from the sexual assault in Iola, Hardel would not say how Gouker is linked to the murder case. Hardel would only say there are similarities that have investigators looking closely at each case.
"If we take a look at the attributes of the crime, there are some things that are similar, so things like that may help us look that way."
Hardel says there have been a number of persons of interest in the double murder case, but never a suspect. Hardel says a billboard asking for information on the case will go up just outside of Waupaca this week.
"There is enough information that with the right people and the right information that maybe we can solve this crime," said Hardel.
A hope Rick Togstad and other families share.
"My hopes have been up every time they call. Every time they call, I hope it is the big break."
Gouker is currently in jail in Oklahoma. He's accused of killing of a 19-year-old man and allegedly kidnapping and raping the victim's girlfriend in 2010. He will be in Waupaca County court in connection with the sexual assault case on Thursday morning.
Wisconsin has a six-year statute of limitations on the prosecution for first-degree sexual assault cases.
But Sheriff Hardel says Gouker has been living in Oklahoma since 1993, putting the time limit on hold. If he is convicted in the rape case, Gouker could face up to 25 years in prison.
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