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3/30/2015 - Fon Du Lac Police File Charges In Cold Case Murder - Click here to print this information

A man arrested last Friday for the 1990 strangling death of Berit Beck was charged this morning. Sixty-one year old Dennis Brantner of Kenosha has an initial appearance scheduled at 3:30 this afternoon in Fond du Lac County Circuit Court. He's charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of the 18-year-old Beck. Authorities said she was strangled in July of 1990, after she was kidnapped while heading from her Racine County home to a computer class in Appleton. Her van was found in a Fond du Lac parking lot two days after she was reported missing, and her body was found six weeks later in rural Fond du Lac County. Court records from last fall showed that Brantner's fingerprints were found on several items in Beck's van. Prosecutors said investigators found more of his prints on March 6th. Also, a person who told police that another man confessed to killing Beck has recanted the story. Officials said Brantner denied killing Beck, but admitted at other times that he couldn't remember what happened. The criminal complaint also lists some of his previous offenses. They include the theft of women's underwear from a suburban Milwaukee motel in the 1970's -- and a promise to return the clothing in exchange for sex. In the late '80's, officials said Brantner went to jail for busting into a house near his first wife in Green Lake County, after his second wife in Illinois kicked him out. In 1994, Brantner was arrested for kidnapping his estranged second wife.

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