11/29/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Sex Offender Charged In 1980 Death Of 11-Year-Old

In 1980, an 11-year-old Boy Scout from Oak Forest went to buy milk for his mother and never came home. He was found with a broken neck four days later, dumped in a forest preserve near his home.

The story made national headlines after a grief-stricken 26-year-old community college student turned himself soon after, claiming his accidentally hit the boy with his car, panicked and drove his dead body to a forest preserve.

But authorities now say Ronald W. Rice's accident story -- which netted him just six months in jail -- was all made up.

Rice actually kidnapped Edwin Gulbransen, sexually assaulted him and killed him, authorities said.

Rice, in prison already for raping another 11-year-old boy after getting out of jail in the Gulbransen case, has been charged with murder, authorities said.


The Gulbransen family released this statement through the Cook County Sheriff's office:

"My entire family and I are devastated by the details concerning Eddie's death. Eddie was a bright, loving and energetic child who filled our lives with joy. Shortly before his death, he had returned from France where he participated in a foreign exchange program through his school. It was an exciting trip and he couldn't stop talking about it. He loved playing baseball and soccer and was a huge fan of the Beatles. He was so looking forward to starting junior high that fall. We miss him terribly.

We are eternally grateful to the hard-working members of the Cook County Sheriff's Department for their dedication in seeking the truth concerning the details of Eddie's death. As painful as this is, it has to be done to protect all of our children. We are sure that everyone involved will understand our need for privacy at this time. We thank everyone for their support."

Bette Kociolek

Edwin Gulbransen's Mom

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