Beth Kutz Murder: Where is Daniel Kutz Now?

For years, Investigation Discovery’s ‘Murder in the Heartland’ has been comprehensively covering cases of murders that transpired in the midwestern part of the country. The episode titled ‘Uncomfortable Truths’ chronicles one such perplexing case, wherein a Wisconsin woman named Beth Kutz vanished without a trace left behind in July 2000. The police pulled out all stops to look for damning evidence and in less than a year, they managed to put the perpetrator behind bars.

However, the entire process unfurled layers of harrowing information that shocked the entire community. With the help of first-hand accounts of the authorities and people involved in the case, as well as those related to 30-year-old Beth, this episode offers an in-depth analysis of the events leading to the sudden disappearance of the family woman, the ensuing investigation, and the subsequent trial as well as the conviction of the killer.

Beth Kutz Went Missing After Leaving Her Workplace

A native of Poynette in Columbia County, Wisconsin, Elizabeth “Beth” Kutz was the beloved daughter of Ellen and Thomas Falk. Born in the 1970s as the only daughter in the household, she shared a close-knit bond with her brothers David and Gregory. Although her parents went their separate ways, their divorce didn’t affect the bond the kids shared with them or their future partners. In fact, Beth was on great terms with her stepfather, Vernon Maier. She wore her heart on her sleeves and had a smile that could light up the dreariest of rooms. While exploring the world as a free-spirited adult, she fell in love with Daniel H. Kutz, and the two eventually tied the knot sometime in the late 1980s. Their union brought two beautiful kids into the world — a daughter, Jennifer, and a son, Jacob.

Image Credit: Fox 47

In the year 2000, the kindhearted mother of two had been working as an employee of Demco Plastics in the village of DeForest in Dane County. At the time, having moved out of the home where the trio resided with her husband of about 12 years, the 30-year-old and her kids had been staying at her mother’s place in Poynette just a few miles away. But then came the day of July 27, 2000, which began as any other as she got ready and left for work in her green-colored Jeep Cherokee in the morning.

About 15 minutes after 3 pm, she left her workplace. However, Beth never reached home. As she had already long informed her mother to reach out to the authorities for help if she wasn’t home half an hour after departing from her workplace, her mother reported Beth Kutz missing. Without wasting any time, the police began looking for the missing mother of two.

A Close One Was Responsible For Beth Kutz’s Murder

As the investigators dug deeper into the case of Beth Kutz, they found out that around the time of her disappearance, she and her husband Daniel were going through a rough patch. The situation had turned so bad that she had moved in with her mother Ellen alongside her children, just a week before she went missing. On July 27, 2000, at 3:45 pm, given what she had said before, the latter grew worried, dialed 911, and filed a missing persons report. She also had a feeling something was awry.

Image Credit: WKOW

Given the marital problems, the authorities looked to question Daniel, but he and his car were nowhere to be found either. While the search for both Beth and him was going on, Greg Stahl walked to the police station around 9 pm that same day and told the authorities that he was having an affair with Beth. He claimed that Daniel did not take the separation well and even threatened to hurt himself. Greg had even spotted Daniel in a blue Cavalier near Beth’s workplace earlier that day. He and her had plans to meet that evening, but when she neither showed up nor informed her that she could not make it, he knew something was wrong. So, he went looking for Beth, along with a friend.

Greg told the detectives about the fact that Beth was afraid of Daniel’s controlling nature, which was one of the reasons they separated. But instead of things getting better, it seemed to have gotten worse as Daniel used to stalk her after the separation. Around 11 pm, Daniel’s blue Cavalier was found parked and abandoned in Demco. Soon, the police came across Daniel walking along Highway CV without a shirt on his back or shoes on his feet. After dropping him off at his brother’s place in DeForest, they demanded him to come to the station to answer some questions regarding his estranged wife’s disappearance. According to Daniel, he and Beth planned to meet after she finished her shift.

As per Daniel’s claims, around 3:30 pm, he got inside her green Jeep and they drove to Token Creek Park, where they had sex in the car, after which he took off his shoes and kept his shirt off. After that, they drove around some more and parted ways at a Stop-N-Go gas station. He claimed that he realized he had left his shoes in her Jeep after going into the store, and by that time, she had already left. That’s when he decided to walk about 25 to 30 miles on foot, as per his claims. Although he admitted that it was unlike Beth not to inform anyone about her whereabouts, he seemed hardly concerned about the fact that she had been missing. During the interrogation, the investigators noticed a few scratches on his wrist and a small sore on his hand.

In light of Greg’s claims and Daniel’s unconvincing story, the police arrested the latter on charges of stalking Beth within 24 hours. Upon the arrest, they collected his personal belongings, including a wristwatch that had traces of his estranged and missing wife’s blood on it. Moreover, the police found out that Daniel had a firearm in his possession for the past five months or so. Not only that, but he also had a previous run-in with the law when he discharged a shotgun at a truck driver who demanded his truck back, about two years prior, around 1998. Almost a month after Beth’s sudden, unexpected vanishing, in August 2000, Daniel Kutz was charged with first-degree intentional homicide, stalking, hiding a corpse, and obstructing an officer.

Daniel Kutz Remains Behind Bars While Maintaining His Innocence

In January 2001, Daniel Kutz’s trial for his wife Elizabeth Kutz’s murder commenced. As the prosecutors presented various pieces of evidence in front of the court, he and his defense maintained his innocence. Yet, after a couple of weeks of hearing, he was found guilty of all charges and as a result, sentenced to life in prison without parole. Since he claimed that he was innocent, the search for Beth’s body never stopped. Over the years, officials received multiple tips from different sources, but none of them led them to her.

In 2010, Beth’s mother, Ellen Maier, was asking people to report any kind of information related to the case. She said, “Any kind of a tip or a thought from somebody (who) remembers something back at that time gives you hope. Maybe this is the tip that you needed, that you’ve been waiting for all this time.” Even after more than two long decades, Daniel maintains his innocence and refuses to know anything about Beth’s remains. In 2022, Jennifer Doherty, Beth’s daughter, sought closure, saying, “It’s been tough. Just having that final resting place would mean more than anything.” As of now, the body of Beth remains undiscovered while Daniel is serving his life sentence in Waupun Correctional Institution at 200 S Madison Street in Waupun.

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