DOOR COUNTY, Wis. (WFRV) – An 86-year-old man has been sentenced on Friday for murdering his wife in Sturgeon Bay back in 1975.

Richard Pierce was found guilty back in April of First-Degree Murder and Disinterment of the Dead in connection to the murder and disappearance of his wife, Carol Jean Pierce.

On August 5, Pierce was sentenced to life in prison after a jury returned a verdict of guilty on both counts.

“I cannot take your life in this state,” said Judge David Weber. “But I am empowered to permanently deprive you of your liberty.”

According to court records, Pierce was arrested in October of 2019 in Cheyboygan, Michigan, 24 years after the disappearance of his wife.

The two lived in a trailer home in Sturgeon Bay at the time of Carol Jean’s disappearance. It took Pierce more than 80 days to report that his wife was missing.

Carol Jean’s body has never been recovered.

“Richard Pierce is a heartless, cold, lying monster,” Carol Jean’s sister, Denise Rowley, said during victim impact statements. “Now he is a murderer.”