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Reward offered in 21-year-old homicide conviction

Reward offered in 21-year-old homicide conviction

MADISON, Wis. - Twenty-one years ago a jury found Penny Brummer guilty in the murder of Sarah Gonstead.  The family of Brummer has spent those 21 years working to prove her innocence.  Thanks to donations they are now offering $10,000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of Gonstead's killer.

"The biggest hope is that Penny goes free, but it's also for Sarah.  This is for Sarah because her murderer is out there.  He's gone free for 21 years.  He, or they have gone free for 21 years," says Nancy Brunner, Penny's mother.

Gonstead disappeared on March 15, 1994.  Investigators believe she and Brummer had been together at a club on Madison's East Side.  Gonstead's body was found three weeks later in a wooded area outside Madison.  Brummer was arrested and charged with the murder.  A jury convicted her and sentenced Brummer to life in prison.

"She's lost all four of her grandparents while she was in prison.  She couldn't go to the funerals.  She's not been able to go to weddings, funerals, anniversaries.  She'll never be able to get that back," says Brummer.

Nancy Brummer says investigators didn't find the murder weapon or forensic evidence that could tie Penny to the murder.

The family is now posting fliers in their hometown of Spring Green and on Madison's East Side to let people know about the $10,000 reward. 

"We're hoping that someone knows something that they didn't think was pertinent but now all of a sudden it clicks in their mind that, oh, maybe I do know something."

The Brummer family and the Wisconsin Innocence Project will hold a news conference on Tuesday at 10 A.M. to discuss developments in the case and talk about the reward money.


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