Wis. deputies identify suspect in 1990 homicide

File photo of police emergency lights.
File photo.

FOND DU LAC (AP) – Fond du Lac deputies investigating the 1990 homicide of an 18-year-old woman said they may have evidence that incriminates a Kenosha man.

The abduction and death of Berit Beck has confounded authorities for years. But the Fond du Lac County sheriff’s office says a new analysis suggests the man was inside Beck’s van, The Reporter Media reported.

“We have tangible, physical evidence to put a prime suspect … intimately in the interior of the van,” Fond du Lac County Sheriff Mick Fink told the newspaper.

The man was not in custody Sunday, and Fink declined to elaborate. But his office has scheduled a news conference Monday morning to discuss the case.

Investigators gathered evidence from the man, including photographs of his hands, according to a search warrant. The photographs are now being analyzed against other evidence related to Beck’s van.

Beck, an 18-year-old Sturtevant woman, was found slain in a ditch in western Fond du Lac County. She had disappeared while on her way to Appleton for a computer seminar.

Her van was found in a store parking lot two days after she was reported missing, with 462 extra miles on the odometer. Her body was found six weeks later, and autopsy reports concluded that strangulation and suffocation were the likely causes of death.

The early investigation centered on a West Bend man as a possible suspect. That man had previous convictions for stealing vehicles and committing armed robberies, but investigators said they never had enough evidence to charge him in Beck’s death.

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