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Michigan man, 82, arrested on murder charges for 1975 disappearance of wife

New York Daily News logo New York Daily News 10/12/2018 STORM GIFFORD
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More than four decades after his wife mysteriously disappeared, a Michigan man is under arrest for her murder.

Richard Pierce, 82, was taken into custody Thursday for the first-degree murder of Carol Jean Pierce. Cops in Cheboygan, Mich., also believe the dead woman’s remains might be on the property.

“The information I have at this time, yes, that’s probably a true statement. Accurate,” said Sturgeon bay Capt. Dan Brinkman.

Carol Pierce vanished Sept. 5, 1975. Richard claimed she was missing when he returned to their Sturgeon Bay, Wis., mobile home, reported TV station WBAY. He didn’t file a missing person report until nearly 12 weeks later.

Soon after she vanished, Richard Pierce moved back to his hometown of Cheboygan.

A criminal complaint mentions that Richard 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.”

Prior to Carol Jean’s disappearance, the pair took out a $25,000 life insurance policy that included a provision that transferred all of her material possessions to her husband. But strangely, the policy was never collected on.

Carol Jean had mentioned in letters to her mother that Richard was storing some of her most prized possessions in a Cheboygan safe deposit box, which contained a wedding band from an ex-husband believed to be worth about $1,200 in the 1970s. Bank records indicate Richard had visited the box right before and after Carol Jean’s disappearance, reported WBAY.

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