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Florida man on trial in wife's 1979 killing in Wisconsin

Posted at 12:07 PM, Jun 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-24 16:45:28-04

WAUKESHA (AP) — A jury trial is starting for a Florida man accused in the death of his wife, whose body has never been found since her disappearance 40 years ago in Wisconsin.

Authorities arrested 79-year-old John Bayerl in Fort Myers, Florida, in February, and he was extradited to Waukesha to stand trial in the death of 38-year-old Dona Mae Bayerl.

WDJT-TV reports the trial begins Monday. Bayerl faces life in prison if convicted.

Bayerl reported his wife missing May 9, 1979. He told police she left their home in Muskego after an argument three days earlier. She was legally declared dead in 1986.

An online court filing says prosecutors plan to use Bayerl's statements over the years and DNA evidence.

Bayerl is being held on $500,000 bail.