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Boynton Beach man sentenced to life in prison for 1985 killing of elderly Palm Beach County woman

Richard Lange was found guilty Feb. 1 of murdering Mildred Matheny
Richard Lange was sentenced to life in prison on July 5, 2023.
Posted at 4:56 PM, Jul 05, 2023

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Boynton Beach man convicted of killing a 78-year-old Lake Worth Beach woman in 1985 will spend the rest of his life in prison.

Richard Lange, who was found guilty Feb. 1, was sentenced Wednesday for the kidnapping, sexual assault and murder of Mildred Matheny.

Matheny was found lying naked on Old Indiantown Road in Jupiter on April 27, 1985, roughly 30 miles from her home. She was bleeding from blunt force injuries to her head and face, and her bloodstained dentures were found nearby.

Matheny died from her injuries days later at Martin Memorial Hospital in Stuart. A medical examiner said she was sexually assaulted.

Mildred Matheny, 78, was kidnapped, sexually assaulted, and murdered in 1985, the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office says.jpg
Mildred Matheny, 78, was kidnapped, sexually assaulted, and murdered in 1985, the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office says.

For 35 years, her death was left unsolved, until April 2021. That's when Palm Beach County deputies announced they arrested Lange, then 61, for the crime. Detectives said they identified him through DNA.

The sheriff's office said that, at the time of her killing, Matheny was a widow and living with her sister after retiring in Florida.

Lange, who appeared in court Wednesday in a wheelchair, was 25 years old at the time of the crime.