‘He’s been held accountable:’ Jury finds John Bayerl guilty in 1979 murder of his wife in Muskego

Jurors in Waukesha County found 79-year-old John Bayerl guilty on Wednesday.
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WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) -- A Florida man has been convicted in the death of his wife, whose body has never been found since her disappearance 40 years ago in Wisconsin.

Jurors in Waukesha County found 79-year-old John Bayerl guilty on Wednesday after hearing closing arguments. Bayerl was arrested in Fort Myers, Florida, in February and was extradited to Waukesha, Wisconsin, to stand trial in the death of 38-year-old Dona Mae Bayerl.

WITI-TV reports John Bayerl declined to take the stand, and the defense decided not to present any of its own evidence.

Bayerl reported his wife missing on 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.

Bayerl faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison.