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Former 'Family Feud' Contestant Charged With Murder Of Estranged Wife In Her Illinois Home
Timothy Bliefnick was charged with two counts of first-degree murder on Monday following the Feb. 23 discovery of his estranged wife, Rebecca Bliefnick, shot dead in her Quincy, Illinois home.
Timothy W. Bliefnick, a former contestant on the Steve Harvey-hosted game show, "Family Feud," has been charged with fatally shooting his estranged wife in her Quincy, Illinois home.
The 39-year-old, who appeared on the show with family members in 2020, according to the Kansas City Star, was charged on Monday with two counts of first-degree murder and a count of a home invasion in the death of 41-year-old Rebecca Bliefnick. Timothy was arrested Monday around 8:24 a.m. without incident, according to the Quincy Police Department.
A judge scheduled Timothy's arraignment for March 24, and granted the prosecution's request for a DNA swab, according to reporting by FOX News.
The pair had been separated for two years, Timothy's attorney Casey Schnack told People, and were in the process of getting divorced.
Schnack told the outlet that her client intends to plead not guilty.
"There was tremendous pressure from the community for an arrest to be made," said Schnack. "And naturally the estranged spouse is going to be the number one suspect regardless of the other circumstances."
Rebecca was discovered dead with multiple gunshot wounds in her home on Kentucky Road after she failed to pick her three sons up from school on Feb. 23, according to WGEM. Quincy Police Sergeant James Brown told the outlet that those children are now in the care of an Illinois Department of Family Services Agent, while the department determines whether they can be placed with surviving relatives.
Adams' County Lead Trial Attorney Josh Jones said at a Monday press conference that the killing was "not a random act of violence," according to People.
"It is equally as important to recognize the event for what it is — an act of domestic violence," he said.
But Timothy's attorney Schnack refuted that claim in her interview with People.
"The state's attorney's office appears to be coming out with a narrative that this was an act of domestic violence. And the fact of the matter is, there was no domestic violence that we are aware of," she said. "Tim does not have a criminal history. He's never been arrested for battery, domestic battery, anything violent, anything ever."
The defense attorney told the outlet that Timothy had been a football star at Quincy University, and that he was a "standard, all-American Midwestern Dad."
"He was active in the community," she said. "He was a youth football coach. He was actively involved in his church here. A lot of people knew him. It's very surprising that this is where the family is at right now."
Timothy also had a TikTok account where he posted at least one racially-motivated joke, according to Fox News.
"Why did the Mexican man take anxiety medication?" he asked. "I'll wait. Think about it. Nothing? To help with Hispanic attacks."
Rebecca was remembered as an exceptional nurse and a "quintessential boy mom" in her online obituary. In 2020, she was honored with the Daisy Award for nursing during the COVID-19 pandemic. She was a certified trauma nurse, a sexual assault nurse examiner and volunteered with an animal rescue group.
"Becky loved to laugh, and that laugh was contagious," reads the obituary. "Everyone that knew her remembers her random humor. She made the mundane fun."
On Monday, a spokesperson for the slain woman's family announced a GoFundMe campaign to cover the victim's funeral expenses and support her children.
"While the arrest today provides a step towards closure, this journey is far from over and the investigation continues," she said on the family's behalf. "We are thankful for your continued respect for our privacy as we navigate this next painful chapter. Our highest priority remains protecting and loving Becky's sons who were the lights of her life. As we continue mourning, we will love and care for them in the ways we know she would want."
Timothy was taken to the Adams County Jail following his arrest.