A suburban St. Louis man was charged Friday with killing his wife after police said he was spotted on video buying cleaning products and that bleach-soaked, bloody carpeting was found in the couple’s home.
Beau Rothwell, 28, was jailed on second-degree murder and evidence tampering charges, and the judge ordered him held without bond. The evidence tampering charge came a day before the murder charge. His attorney didn’t immediately return a phone message seeking comment.
Authorities believe Rothwell killed his wife, 28-year-old Jennifer Rothwell, on Monday. Her body hasn’t been found.
Beau Rothwell was spotted Monday on video buying cleaning products, including bleach, carpet cleaner and gloves, according to the probable cause statement, which police cited in a news release. Jennifer Rothwell was reported missing Tuesday, and her car was found abandoned less than 2 miles away later that day.
Detectives who searched the couple’s home Wednesday found a wet carpet soaked with bleach and large areas of blood, some of which had soaked into the underlying carpet pad. The probable cause statement described the blood as evidence of murder.
Beau and Jennifer Rothwell earned chemical engineering degrees from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2013. They married in 2015 in St. Louis County.
Before his arrest, Beau Rothwell posted on Facebook and asked for help in the search for his missing wife.
“Some of you may have heard already, but last night my wife Jennifer went missing,” his post said. “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.”
As the search continued for Jennifer Rothwell, officers were scouring a wooded area Thursday in between where her car was found and her home. Her family is offering a $25,000 reward for any information that leads to her whereabouts.
KMOV reported that Jennifer Rothwell’s mother, Robin von Hausen, said her daughter had just moved to western St. Louis County with her husband and worked at DuPont. Von Hausen said it was one of her DuPont co-workers who tipped them off that something might have happened.
“A co-worker texted and said, ‘Hey, how is Jennifer?’ They assumed she just hadn’t come into work because of the weather or whatnot,” von Hausen said.