Wendelsdorf Death Under Investigation

The Cherokee man, who was acquitted of the high-profile murder of a Spirit Lake toddler, has died.

Forty-one year-old Jesse Wendelsdorf died Thursday night at UnityPoint Health-Saint Luke’s, in Sioux City. The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation says Wendelsdorf was brought to the Sioux City hospital, in serious condition, Tuesday night. DCI investigators won’t detail the cause or manner of Wendelsfdorf’s death. Their investigation is ongoing.

In 2000, Wendelsdorf stood trial for first-degree murder, and sexual abuse, in the death of two-year-old Shelby Duis. A Buena Vista County jury found him not guilty on both counts.

Duis’ mother, Heidi Watkins spent 13-years behind bars following her conviction on charges of child endangerment in her daughter’s death. She was released from prison in 2013.