UPDATE: Judge's verdict in Purk's second murder trail due Dec. 8

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TOLEDO, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- The judge in the second murder trial of a Tama man will announce his verdict December 8, according to the Tama County Attorney's Office.

Tait Purk is charged with first-degree murder in the April 2000 disappearance of Cora Okonski. Authorities have never found her body.

An Iowa County jury previously convicted Purk, but a judge found the verdict wasn't backed by evidence. A second trial was held earlier this month before a judge.

Purk is currently serving a theft sentence in the Anamosa State Penitentiary.
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The murder trial of a Tama man accused of killing a woman whose body has never been found is now in the hands of a judge.

Tait Purk's second murder trial wrapped up Thursday, nearly three months after a judge overturned Purk's first-degree murder conviction in the April 2000 disappearance of Cora Okonski. An Iowa County jury previously convicted Purk, but Judge Mitchell Turner found the verdict wasn't backed by evidence.

The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports prosecutors said Purk and Okonski, his fiance, had been arguing at his Tama County home when he killed her with a choke slam. Authorities said Purk hid her body in a bathroom closet until he could bury her in a remote location. Her remains have never been located.

Purk later reported Okonski missing and told police she had left to buy cigarettes and never returned.

While serving time for a federal drug charge in Leavenworth, Kansas, authorities said Purk told a cellmate he had killed Okonski. But the defense said there is no evidence to back the cellmate's statements, and people had reported seeing Okonski after the April 2000 date when Tate is accused of killing her.

Purk is currently serving a theft sentence in the Anamosa State Penitentiary.