Florida man gets life in prison for death of Wisconsin wife

WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) — A 79-year-old Florida man has been sentenced to life in prison for the death of his wife, whose body has never been found 40 years after she disappeared in Wisconsin.

John Bayerl received a mandatory life sentence Friday after jurors in Waukesha County found him guilty of first-degree murder in June in the death of his wife, Dona Mae Bayerl.

WITI-TV reports Bayerl maintained his innocence at sentencing. He did not testify at his trial.

Bayerl was arrested in Fort Myers, Florida, in February and extradited to Waukesha, Wisconsin, to stand trial in the death of his 38-year-old wife.

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.