Prosecutors in Wisconsin have charged Mark Bringe, 70, with first-degree murder after investigators took another look at a 1988 cold case. (Columbia County Sheriff's Office)
Originally published Tuesday, February 13, 2018 at 03:23p.m.
POYNETTE, Wis. (AP) — An Arizona man has been arrested in the 1988 death of his wife, a Wisconsin case that was initially reported as a suicide.
Prosecutors have charged Mark Bringe, 70, with first-degree murder after investigators in Columbia County took another look at the cold case, the Wisconsin State Journal reported. Bringe was arrested at his home in Sahuarita, Arizona, on Monday.
Lorelei Bringe, 33, was found dead of a single gunshot wound to the head on Aug. 19, 1988, outside the couple's home near Poynette. Two guns were found nearby.
When Mark Bringe told detectives in an interview last year about how he and his father-in-law discovered the body, he indicated that he had prior knowledge of his wife's death, the location of her body and didn't take action, according to the criminal complaint.
Despite the passing of nearly 30 years, Bringe also presented enough inconsistencies between statements that went beyond what would be expected, said Sheriff's Detective Lt. Roger Brandner.
"Obviously, when there are conflicting statements in any investigation, you have to weigh that against how important it is and if there is a gap in time, one can understand that there can be some differences," Brandner said. "The facts are the facts. His wife died and his recollection of that should be pretty consistent no matter what the time frame is."
The criminal complaint charging Bringe with the death raises questions about the scenario of the shooting, including the trajectory of the bullet. An analysis by a pathologist found that Lorelei Bringe would've needed to use her left hand to shoot the gun, despite being right-handed. Only about 5.5 percent of handgun suicide victims use their less dominant hand, according to the complaint.
Bringe was expected in an Arizona court Tuesday for an extradition hearing. Court documents do not list an attorney.