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Second trial begins in disappearance case

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017 10:22 a.m. CST

TOLEDO — A second trial has begun for a man, nearly three months after a judge overturned his first-degree murder conviction in the 2000 disappearance of a Tama woman whose body has never been found. Attorneys gave opening arguments Monday in the retrial of Tait O. Purk, who was charged in connection with the disappearance of his fiancee Cora Okonski. A jury previously convicted Purk, but a judge found the verdict wasn’t backed by evidence.

Purk waived his right to a jury. The case is now before Judge Ian Thornhill.

Tama County Attorney Brent Heeren told jurors Okonski is dead, and “the one truth is Tait Purk murdered his fiancee.”

Defense attorney Aaron Siebrecht called the case “speculation and conjecture about a man who is universally disliked.”

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