Warrant: Fond du Lac County investigators link suspect in old murder case through fingerprints


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FOND DU LAC, Wisconsin — Fond du Lac County investigators linked a suspect to a 24-year-old murder case through fingerprints found on items in the victim's van, according to search warrants obtained by a newspaper.

In April, sheriff's officials said a Kenosha man was the prime suspect in the 1990 slaying of 18-year-old Berit Beck. Officials would say little about evidence, except there was tangible evidence to put him in Beck's van, according to The Reporter Media (http://fondul.ac/1CaDHb7 ).

Her van was discovered in a parking lot three days after she disappeared, but her body was not found until about six weeks later in a ditch in rural western Fond du Lac County.

Now a search warrant on file in Fond du Lac County discloses that the suspect's fingerprints were found on several items recovered from Beck's van: A Burger King cup, a Boldt (Beck's employer) Employee Manual and Jolen Bleach Kit. The bleach kit was one of the items Beck had purchased the day she disappeared.

The evidence had been submitted to the State Crime Lab in 1990, but the fingerprint match wasn't made until late last year when investigators asked for retesting.

County Sheriff Mick Fink says investigators are continuing to gather evidence to help build a case.

The search warrant filed in April sought numerous things that were missing from Beck's van or body, including a gold band ring, keys, a pearl-faced gold watch, a key chain with the passage "footsteps in the sand" on it. It also sought newspaper clippings, photographs, drawings or sketches of Beck.

None of those items were recovered when a search was conducted at the suspect's Kenosha residence. Investigators confiscated a computer, Internet drive, memory card, photo album and discs, according to the warrant.

Information submitted to a judge in support of the search warrant includes comments gleaned from the suspect's former co-workers and boss. One man told investigators the suspect worked alongside his daughter and had said he wanted to kidnap her and have sex with her, according to the warrant.

A co-worker noted that the suspect had numerous photos he decorated his work space with while working as a welder in Kenosha, including one that may have been the victim. He said the suspect had told him the girl was his girlfriend. The man noted that the suspect's work space had more photographs of late teen girls "appearing to be posing in campsite style backgrounds." He noted the girls "appeared to be stiff or mannequin type and posing, although they looked expressionless," according to the warrant.

Information from: The Reporter Media, http://www.fdlreporter.com

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