TROY, Mo. — St. Louis County police found late Monday night what they believe to be the remains of Jennifer Rothwell, whose husband has been charged with killing her.
St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar told reporters that detectives received information about where Jennifer Rothwell’s remains could be found at about 2:45 p.m. Monday when her husband and his attorney met with detectives.
Police started combing about a four-mile stretch along U.S. 61 near Cuivre River State Park at about 5:15 p.m. Officers found the remains at about 11:30 p.m., about 20 yards off the shoulder in a wooded area, Belmar said.
“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.
“It’s horrible for things like this to end this way, but the fact of the matter was we didn’t have good news last week and we felt it would lead us to this outcome. But it’s good for the community and for Jennifer’s family and for her memory to have this wrapped up.”
Belmar said detectives were unaware of any connection Beau Rothwell had to the area where he allegedly put his wife’s remains.
Her husband of four years has been “cooperating” with the investigation, and “that’s why police are out there,” his attorney, Charles Barberio, said earlier Monday. Rothwell is being held without bail at the St. Louis County Jail.
“My client and I are working with the St. Louis County police department and the St. Louis County prosecutor’s office to bring closure to this case and to all parties involved,” Barberio said in a statement to the Post-Dispatch on Monday evening.
Around 8 p.m., at least a dozen St. Louis County officers were searching the southbound shoulder of U.S. 61 with dogs and flashlights, parallel to the north end of the state park.
St. Louis County Prosecutor Wesley Bell was also at the scene. Later, in an interview, he said he frequently goes to homicide scenes.
“I think it’s important that we be there,” he said. “We’re going to see things differently with respect to having to prove the case.
“We want to make sure that when tragedies happen, that all of the resources of St. Louis County law enforcement including the prosecuting attorney’s office are there to make sure the case is handled correctly and justice is served.”
Bell said that authorities do not have any information regarding “the how or the why, yet,” in the case.
Police believe Beau Rothwell killed his wife sometime on Nov. 11. He was seen on surveillance video that day buying bleach and other cleaning supplies at a local store. He reported her missing the next day, saying he had last seen her leaving for work that morning.
Her car was abandoned near Fee Fee Road and Olive Boulevard, about 1½ miles from her home on Northwinds Drive.
In court documents, police said they found multiple bottles of bleach inside the couple’s home just north of Creve Coeur, along with a wet carpet and blood-stained carpet and padding.
St. Louis County police said they used DNA samples from Jennifer Rothwell’s parents to confirm that blood found inside the Rothwells’ house was their daughter’s.
Friends of the couple said they were stunned by the developments. Most did not want to be identified.
Steven Farber, of New Melle, said he and Beau Rothwell played in a racquetball league in St. Charles together for years. He last saw him about a month ago, and everything seemed fine.
“He was part of our group, and, needless to say, we were all really shocked when we heard his wife was missing,” Farber said.
Farber said Beau Rothwell never shared any problems at home, just frequently spoke about how he and his wife were renovating a house.
“He never expressed anything but good things about his wife, his marriage, his home.”
Beau Rothwell was the least talkative of the group, Farber said.
“He was easygoing,” Farber said.
Jennifer and Beau Rothwell, both 28, earned degrees in chemical engineering from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2013. The couple married in 2015 in St. Louis County.
Jennifer Rothwell had been a chemical engineer since July 2013 for MECS Inc., once a subsidiary of Monsanto that was purchased by the DuPont chemical company in 2010.
Beau Rothwell has no prior convictions, police said. He has lived in the St. Louis area since 2013.
St. Louis County police have not responded to any calls for service to the home in the past five years.