Wisconsin recognizes state agents, scientists for helping solve decades-old crimes

Dozens of families in Wisconsin are affected
Published: Mar. 29, 2023 at 12:30 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 29, 2023 at 12:36 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) - Special agents and forensic scientists working for the state are being recognized by Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul for their work on solving older cases.

AG Kaul is highlighting the work of the state’s Department of Justice (DOJ) Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) special agents and Division of Forensic Sciences (DFS) scientists for helping solve decades-old crimes.

“DOJ’s Division of Criminal Investigation has helped get justice in long-unsolved cases, bringing important resolution for family, friends, and communities,” said AG Kaul.

A news release from the DOJ cited the example of John A. Sarver, who was convicted and sentenced to life in prison in connection with the November 26, 1984, murder of Eleanore Roberts of Saratoga. Sarver’s DNA was found on evidence and presented at trial by a DFS DNA analyst, the DOJ says, leading to the conviction.

The conviction and life sentence of Richard Gale Pierce is another recent example of an unresolved case solved by DCI and the Sturgeon Bay Police Department. In this case, the DOJ said special agents, along with local law enforcement, worked for 47 years to solve the disappearance of Carol Pierce. To date, the DOJ says this remains the longest bodiless homicide case, between disappearance and conviction, in United States history.

“The assistance of DCI in this investigation cannot be overstated,” said Door County District Attorney Colleen Nordin. “It was not until DCI agents were involved that we were able to develop a case that could finally be charged and successfully prosecuted after 47 years.”

DCI is responsible for investigating crimes that are statewide in nature or importance. DCI special agents and criminal analysts work closely with local, county, tribal, state and federal officials to investigate and prosecute crimes.