The search for a missing Missouri woman has quickly taken a dark turn as investigators announced it is now a homicide investigation.
Jennifer Rothwell, 28, of St. Louis County, had been classified as missing Tuesday, but just days later, it appears hopes for finding her alive have dried up.
“Although the search for Jennifer continues, the investigation has progressed and the incident has been re-classified to a homicide,” the St. Louis County Police Department said in a Facebook post on Wednesday, adding that Rothwell’s husband, Beau Rothwell, was in custody.
Beau Rothwell was charged Thursday night with with tampering with physical evidence, according to KMOV in St. Louis. He has not been charged with murder and Jennifer's body has yet to be found.
A probable cause statement obtained by KMOV alleges that he was captured on video video buying bleach, carpet cleaner, and gloves on Monday. Following a search of the couple’s home, police claim a carpet had been soaked with bleach in an attempt to conceal large blood spots. The blood allegedly soaked into the pad which rests underneath the carpet, which investigators describe in their probable cause statement as "evidence of the crime of murder,” according to the Riverfront Times, a St. Louis publication.
Jennifer, a chemical engineer for DuPont, was reported missing Tuesday after she didn’t show up for work, according to the Riverfront Times.
“Jennifer has no history of leaving and is normally in contact with family members and friends on a daily basis,” police said.
Her car was discovered abandoned Tuesday night off a road, less than two miles from her home. Investigators have since targeted a wooded area located midway between where Jennifer was last seen and where her car was found as an area to look for clues.
Beau, who also works as an engineer, posted about his wife’s disappearance on Facebook before his arrest on Wednesday stating, “Some of you may have heard already, but last night my wife Jennifer went missing. I’ve filed a police report and the search is ongoing. Please, if you hear of anything or have any information it would be greatly appreciated.”
The Rothwells got married in 2015. Both met when they were engineering majors at the University of Missouri, according to local outlet KSDK.
Jennifer’s mom Robin von Hausent told KMOV that her daugther “works hard. People like her. She has a lot of friends at DuPont”.
Rothwell is being held on a $100,000 bond. It is not clear if he has an attorney who can speak on his behalf at this time.
Anyone with information is urged to call the St. Louis County Police Department at 636-529-8210.
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