No verdict Monday in Berit Beck trial

Posted at 6:29 AM, Jun 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-28 06:37:52-04

Nearly five hours of deliberating will not be enough for the jury in Berit Beck murder case.

Jury members alerted the judge they will resume deliberations at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.

The trial began two weeks ago and jury members started deliberating at 12:31 p.m.

Dennis Brantner, 62, is charged with first degree intentional homicide.

Beck's was 18 when she disappeared on the way from her Sturtevant home to a computer training class in Appleton back on July 17, 1990. Her van was found two days later in Fond du Lac, and her body discovered a month later in a field in Waupun.

Closing arguments began in the trial Monday morning.

Brantner, of Kenosha, is accused of killing 18-year old Berit Beck in July of 1990.

Prosecutors allege Beck was driving from her home in Racine County to a work seminar in Appleton, when she made a stop at a mall in Fond du Lac. 

In his closing argument to jurors Monday, Fond du Lac County District Attorney Eric Toney alleged Brantner killed Beck, most likely by suffocation or strangulation, and then dumped her body in a ditch in Waupun. Her remains were found roughly five weeks later.

"Berit has missed 26 birthdays since then. Her family was never able to celebrate," Toney said. "They were stolen by Dennis Brantner." 

Toney also said cigarette ashes and fingerprints found inside the van Beck was driving led investigators to re-open the two-decades old cold case in 2014. 

"There were nine fingerprints on five different items throughout the van," Toney said. "More than 400 miles were put on Berit's van that did not belong."

Toney said Brantner made himself at home in the van, and took ownership of it, because he knew Beck was dead.

Following a rebuttal from prosecutors, the jury will get the case. A total of 15 jurors have heard two weeks of evidence in the trial, but just the standard 12 will deliberate. Three are serving as alternates.