The Justice Files: Family of Peggy Sue Case finally get their justice

Justice Files
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PROVO, Utah (ABC4) – Michael Kufrin never offered an apology to the family of Peggy Sue Case.

He had a final opportunity at his recent sentencing, but refused to make any statements.

“If there is anything that you wish to say, you may speak now,” Provo district judge Kraig Powell asked Kufrin prior to his sentencing.

“No your honor,” Kufrin responded.

It was typical of Kufrin, who, after his arrest in 2017, denied he had anything to do with Case’s 1988 disappearance and murder.

She was last seen at a company picnic in 1988. Witnesses saw the couple leave together. From the outset, Kufrin, her then boyfriend, was a suspect, but her body was never found and there wasn’t enough evidence to charge him.

But four years ago, her remains were found in a root cellar behind a home the couple shared in Spanish Fork. The location had been searched in 1988, but the police dogs never picked up her scent. In 2017, the new tenants discovered the remains after noticing the dirt sinking in the cellar.

In June, Kufrin was found guilty of her murder and returned to court in late July for sentencing.

It was a decade ago that Case’s family last spoke publicly about her disappearance, but they broke their silence at Kufrin’s sentencing. One of her sisters indicated that Kufrin lost both of his parents at an early age, but also noticed his lack of remorse.

“I kept watching his face as the grisly details of Peggy’s murder were revealed in this courtroom,” said Christine Riley. “I kept looking for some semblance of emotion on his face or some indication of remorse. I didn’t see any.”

Another sister, Pam Wilson, expressed gratitude to the Spanish Fork police, especially singling out former detective Carl Johnston who began investigating the case in 1988.

“He never gave up and keep us informed of any development,” said Wilson.

They also shared memories of their sister and the void created by her disappearance. Wilson spoke of the pain they suffered of not knowing what had happened to her.

“There are 136-members of this family that have mourned her lost life,” said Pam Wilson. “There is a hole in our family that only she can fill. Whatever Peggy did or did not do, she did not deserve to be murdered for it.”

Wilson said Kufrin had been a free man for 28-years while the family wondered and worried about where she might be.

“(We were) never free of that burden,” said Wilson. “Time to pay up.”

Kufrin was sentenced to a minimum of five years to life in prison. The sentence was based on the law in place in 1988 when Case was murdered.

Based on his sentence, he could be eligible for parole in 2026. But it will be up to the Utah board of pardons and parole to determine if and when he will be paroled.

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