Investigators believe they have found the remains of a missing St. Louis-area woman after her husband allegedly agreed to provide information about where he discarded her body.
St. Louis County police discovered the body off a highway near Troy, Missouri Monday night as they searched for 28-year-old Jennifer Rothwell, who was reported missing by her husband last week, local station KMOV reports.
The body was found around 11:30 p.m. in a wooded area off the shoulder of the highway; investigators had searched the surrounding area for hours, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar announced in a press conference, according to The St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Although the body has not yet been positively identified as that of Rothwell, authorities believe it is the missing woman.
“We’re going to follow up with DNA to do a total confirmation to make sure it is Jennifer Rothwell, but I do believe and detectives believe it is her,” Belmar said. “The medical examiner’s office is headed up to scene.”
Rothwell’s husband, 28-year-old Beau Rothwell, had been charged with second-degree murder in Jennifer’s death after investigators say they found a blood and bleach-soaked carpet at the home the couple had shared together. Investigators also found surveillance footage showing Beau buying cleaning products—including bleach and gloves—the day before he reported his wife of four years missing.
Investigators believe he killed his wife Nov. 11, the same day he was spotted buying the supplies, although no motive has been announced in the case.
"Obviously I think we knew, unfortunately, with last week's events that this was not going to end in a positive manner," Belmar said of the search for Jennifer.
Rothwell was charged last week with murder and tampering with evidence in light of the blood allegedly left behind in the home and the other evidence found by investigators.
On Monday afternoon, Beau and his attorney met with police to help direct them to where the body could be found.
“My client and I are working with the St. Louis County police department and the St. Louis County prosecutors office to bring closure to this case and to all parties involved,” his attorney Charles Barberio said in a statement obtained by KMOV. “We have no further details to release at this time and ask for privacy on behalf of the families as we cooperate with law enforcement.”
Steven Farber, who had played in a racquetball league with Beau before his arrest, said he was shocked by the allegations and was never aware of any tension between the couple.
“He never expressed anything but good things about his wife, his marriage, his home,” Farber told The Post-Dispatch, adding that he had last seen Beau about one month ago.
He described his former teammate as “easygoing” and said he often talked about renovation projects he was doing at his home.
The couple, both of whom had chemical engineering degrees from the University of Missouri-Columbia, got married in 2015.
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