SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — It’s the final chapter in a story we’ve been following for over two years now that involves a cold case murder investigation out of Minnesota.

A judge has ruled that 81-year-old Algene Vossen is to be committed to a memory care center for the rest of his life.

Vossen suffers from dementia and according to his attorney his mental health has continued to deteriorate over the past two years.

“I think it’s the final chapter, on a civil commitment, it gets reviewed every six months, but we’re dealing with progressive dementia and alzheimers, things aren’t going to get any better,” Vossen’s attorney Kent Marshall said.

Vossen was arrested at his home in Sioux Falls in July of 2020 for the stabbing death of Mable Herman of Willmar, Minnesota back in 1974 after new DNA evidence linked him to the brutal crime.

Willmar’s Cold Case Unit spent hundreds of hours re-investigating the crime and after nearly 50 years they finally felt they found their suspect.

But during months of court battles and appeals, Vossen was found incompetent to stand trial.

This week, a judge ruled that Vossen must be civilly committed to a memory care facility.

His attorney says it’s not only the right outcome, it’s the only outcome.

“The state can be assured that he’s going to be cared for in a way that’s not going to have him out in the public and I can be assured that he’s not going to be in a locked up facility that I don’t think he belongs in,” Marshall said.

Don: Obviously it’s not what you guys were hoping for,
Chief Felt: No it’s not ideally we want this case to go to trial and have him found guilty for the murder.

Don: In a sense, if he’s being committed for the rest of his life it’s kind a like a sentence, or wouldn’t you agree with that?
Chief Felt: I would agree with that, it’s not the ideal resolution that we wanted, but we also understand circumstances change, people’s health changes and having him confined and under the care of the state, it is helpful and kind of a win that way.

It’s now up to the Minnesota Department of Human Services to choose a memory care center where Vossen will live out the rest of his life.