Trial for 1975 Door County murder delayed until 2021

Richard Pierce, now 84, is accused of killing his wife, Carol Jean Pierce
Published: Jul. 2, 2020 at 3:51 PM CDT
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The jury trial for a 35-year-old Door County murder has been delayed another year.

Richard G. Pierce, now 84, is charged with 1st Degree Murder for the death of Carol Jean Pierce.

A four-week jury trial originally scheduled to start next month, on August 4, was pushed back to April 13, 2021. Jury selection will be conducted on March 31 and April 1.

Pierce’s former wife Carol Jean disappeared from Sturgeon Bay in 1975.

Police say Pierce moved to Cheboygan, Mich., and had a new girlfriend shortly after his wife disappeared. A missing persons report for Carol Jean wasn’t filed for 82 days.

On Sept. 21, 2018, the Wisconsin Cold Case Review Team looked at the case and concluded there was enough to show Richard Pierce was set to gain from Carol Jean's disappearance.

Her body was never found.

Investigators from Sturgeon Bay and Michigan spent weeks searching Richard Pierce’s property in Michigan, looking for possible evidence related to the Carol Jean Pierce disappearance.

A criminal complaint states Richard Pierce had “gained numerous things based on Carol Jean’s disappearance, which included a pension unencumbered by a wife; most of the important belongings of their marriage; land and a home in Michigan; a new girlfriend weeks after Carol Jean’s disappearance, as well as the benefit of Carol Jean’s silence.”

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