Ladysmith Man Arrested In 30-Year-Old Murder Case

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Ladysmith police arrested a man Monday in connection with a 30-year-old murder case. Laura Bruce was strangled in 1976 and ever since her case has been unsolved, but police say they now have new information in Bruce’s death.

Ladysmith Police Chief Dean Meyer arrested 63-year-old Roy Beaulieu (pronounced Boyer) at his Ladysmith apartment. Beaulieu was booked into the Rusk County Jail on first degree intentional homicide.

Laura Bruce was 63 when someone killed her. Meyer says investigators did talk to Beaulieu about his role three decades ago.

“Mr. Beaulieu was the last person known to be seen with or in the proximity of Laura Bruce just prior to her death back in 1976, so he was somewhat of a person of interest originally as part of this investigation,” Meyer says.

He also says Beaulieu and Bruce went to several bars and a restaurant the morning of May 22, 1976.

“Both left the restaurant at about 3:09 in the morning,” Meyer says. “Beaulieu walks into the Peavey paper mill at the time and tells some of the workers that he found this person lying next to the railroad tracks.”

But in 1976, the pathologist said the cause of death was undetermined. The case lay cold until Melvin Bruce, Laura’s son, asked Meyer to reinvestigate last year. This year, another pathologist re-examined Bruce’s body. This time, the cause of death changed to homicidal strangulation

In the past few weeks, Meyer says Beaulieu has given him new information about that night, but Meyer says his version doesn't fit the cause of death, so Meyer says he doesn't believe Beaulieu. The Rusk County District Attorney says she will charge Beaulieu with murder.