'Over a decade of prayers answered': Cold case victim's family reacts to his widow's arrest

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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) -- “It’s over a decade of prayers answered.”

Ken Juedes, photo courtesy of Laurie Juedes

Anna Juedes, Ken Juedes’s 32-year-old daughter, is emotional as she discusses the arrest of her father’s second wife in connection to his 2006 murder. Cindy Schulz-Juedes, who Ken married in 2004 in Las Vegas, has long been the primary suspect in the murder that left him dead of two shotgun blasts in his bed at his home in the town of Hull.

“We’ve been waiting for this for years,” Anna told NewsChannel 7 on Monday. “For this to happen is just amazing, especially for my grandmother. She has been waiting for this forever.”

Margaret Juedes, Ken’s mom, is now 101 years old. She spoke to NewsChannel 7 in 2011 regarding the cold case of her 58-year-old son’s murder. She was in court on Monday as Schulz-Juedes made her first appearance for a probable cause hearing, resulting in her being held on a $1 million cash bond.

The evidence for probable cause brought in court Monday by special prosecutor and assistant attorney general Richard Dufour, who is helping Marathon County with the case, has largely been publically reported in the past. Dufour pointed to inconsistent statements by Schulz-Juedes regarding the incident, her presence as the only person living with Ken at the time of his death, the nearly-$1 million in life insurance money and $200,000 in property collected, and a missing 20-gauge shotgun as key points for probable cause.

“That gives her both motive, opportunity and means to commit this offense,” Dufour said Monday. The public defender, however, disagreed when making a case for a signature bond.

"All this is not enough that shows that there was actually something that happened," public defender Trevor Peterson said, when asking for a signature bond. "In fact, 13 years shows that there was a lot of doubt in what's going on there." Investigators have not said whether any new information has been uncovered to result in the arrest, and court documents related to the investigation are not expected to be released until the court appearance next Friday.

For Ken’s sister Laurie, she’s spent years trying to dig into the case on her own, including hiring private investigators to research the case. Laurie is equally relieved at Monday’s developments. “It’s just amazing. It’s overwhelming,” she reflected. “We’ve been living this murder now for 13 years.”

“People say closure, but it’s really not closure at all,” Laurie said. “It’s really just a feeling that a very dangerous person might be off the streets. And that is such a relief because she may not have been dangerous to the general public—but she was certainly dangerous to our family.”

In 2016, Marathon County Sheriff’s Office captain Greg Bean said two detectives had been newly assigned to the shooting investigation, one of whom was to devote 30 hours a week to the case.

Schulz-Juedes will make an appearance in court December 13, when she’s expected to be formally charged with Ken’s murder.