Victoria Lynn Prokopovitz
Victoria Prokopovitz was last seen at the residence she shared with her husband and her adult son, in the 5100 block of Kunesh Road in the township of Pittsfield, Wisconsin on April 25th, 2013 around 10:00pm. She was discovered missing on April 26th around 4:00am. Victoria has never been seen or heard from again.
Victoria is a white woman, 5’6”, and 117 pounds. She has blondish brown short hair and brown eyes. Her ears are pierced. She has scarring on her abdomen and arms. She has a rose tattoo on her front breast area and a tattoo of a skunk on her back hip. She also has a mole on the back of her neck.
She was last seen wearing grey stretchy pants, a black and white shirt, a white coat, and black shoes with a stacked heel. Victoria also goes by Vicki.
She left behind her purse with all of its contents, including her ID, money, cigarettes, and cell phone. Victoria’s medication disappeared with her. She has no known credit cards and no vehicle. In fact, she has not driven a vehicle in years and there’s no evidence that anyone picked her up.
Her husband, James M. Prokopovitz says that he went to bed around 10:00pm and that was the last time he saw her. When he woke up at 4:00am, she was gone.
James said he searched the area, but when he couldn’t find her, he went to work. He reported Victoria missing later that afternoon, when he returned home from work. An extensive search of the area was done and turned up no sign of Victoria.
James told police that he thought she may have taken her own life. According to her family, Victoria was doing well and was not depressed at the time of her disappearance. Victoria had 2 suicide attempts which were both at her home, but happened more than a decade prior to her disappearance.
In 2015 police searched Victoria’s home and all the buildings on the rural property. They seized photos, seven computers, twelve hard drives, a cell phone, financial documents, a roll of tape, and other items. During this search, police found blood evidence in multiple locations in the house, including in the bedroom, hallway, and kitchen.
Victoria’s family had been suspicious of James since soon after he reported her missing. Their suspicion started when they learned that their mother was missing after receiving a phone call from the police. James refused to participate in the numerous searches for Victoria and kept insisting that she was “dead” and “never coming back.” James began seeing another woman, Kathryn Friday, shortly after Victoria disappeared.
James and Kathryn were both arrested in May of 2019 after testifying under oath at a John Doe hearing, which is a court hearing to determine whether a crime has been committed in that jurisdiction.
In their testimony, Kathy and James both admitted that they had lied to Law Enforcement for years about when they met each other. James said they did this because he was “concerned what people would think” about him starting a relationship so soon after Victoria’s disappearance, so they agreed to lie about it.
Investigators said that the two had lied about other matters relating to Victoria’s disappearance. James lied about his actions after discovering Victoria was missing. He said that he had checked a nearby gas station. Law enforcement checked the security footage from the gas station and found that this was not true. James also said that he had called Victoria several times on the day of her disappearance, but phone records indicated that she hadn’t received any calls.
James was charged with first-degree intentional homicide, domestic abuse, perjury and resisting or obstructing an officer. Kathryn was charged with perjury and obstruction. Kathryn was released on bond, with a no contact order pending trial, while James was held in jail on a $2 million dollar bond. In July 2019, Kathryn was charged with bail jumping after it was discovered that she and James had been passing messages to each other which was prohibited as part of her bond agreement.
In an interview with police after his arrest, James had stated “here, I killed her. Kathy had nothing to do with it. I don’t know how I killed her. I didn’t, so I can’t tell you I don’t know.” He said he and Kathy had lied in an effort to “keep their stories straight”, but he changed his story and denied killing Victoria.
As part of his job loading paper waste onto trucks, James had access to the sludge ponds, which are full of industrial waste, and located between his home and his job. When asked about the pond, James stated “I think if a body was put into the sludge ponds, it would never be found. I know that as I saw what happened to the deer that went in there.” He denied having put Victoria’s body in the pond. The pond is too hazardous to search.
Over the years, there have been multiple searches. There has been no trace of Victoria or anything suggesting she would be living another life in another location. She has not accessed her bank account. She has not filled any prescriptions. She has not checked into any hospitals. She has not traveled outside of the country.
In July of 2020, Kathryn pleaded no contest to perjury, conspiracy to commit perjury, and obstruction. The bail jumping charge was dropped. In November of 2020, just before her sentencing, Kathryn died by suicide at the age of 68.
The trial started in February 2021 and lasted two weeks. During the trial, two fellow inmates that were in jail with him at different times testified against him. One of them said that James stated that no one would be able to identify Victoria because there would be no blood or teeth with the body. The prosecution noted that Victoria's dentures were left behind at the home. Victoria’s son and said that Victoria and James got into an argument over a tablecloth on the day she disappeared. A video was shown of Prokopovitz being interviewed at his Pittsfield home showed his demeanor abruptly change as investigators asked more questions and became a critical piece of evidence.
James’ defense did not call any witnesses and James did not take the stand. His attorney argued that the evidence was circumstantial and the prosecution had failed to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
The jury deliberated almost 24 hours being reaching a decision. On February 27, 2021, James was found guilty of 1st Degree Intentional Homicide and Resisting and Obstructing. He was also found guilty of two counts of Perjury before Court.
On May 26th, 2021, James Prokopovitz, was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole for 1st Degree Intentional Homicide. James declined to speak during the sentencing hearing. Just before the sentencing was handed down, Judge Atkinson told James “I’m hoping after a while in prison, maybe someday you will decide to give the answers to the children and let them know where Victoria is. In prison, maybe you can think about that.”
Victoria’s daughter, Marsha Loritz, founded Wisconsin Missing Persons Advocacy Inc. in 2017 to assist families of missing persons.
Victoria was 59 years old when she went missing. She would be 69 years old today. She remains missing.
Any leads or information should be directed to:
Brown County Sheriff’s Office
Detective Roman Aronstein
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