- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 26, 2018

MOUNT PLEASANT, Iowa (AP) - A judge has convicted a man accused of killing his wife, who disappeared nearly 18 years ago in southeast Iowa.

Judge Mark Cruse rendered a first-degree murder verdict Monday on Michael Syperda. Cruse heard testimony and considered evidence submitted in a nonjury trial that ended May 7.

Syperda was charged in December with first-degree murder in the disappearance of Elizabeth Syperda. He was arrested in late November in Colorado, where he had moved. Syperda faces life in prison when he’s sentenced Aug. 23.

She was 22 when she disappeared in July 2000 in Mount Pleasant. Her body was never found. Court records say the couple had been estranged before her disappearance, because she was leaving him for a woman.

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