Before she went missing last month, a St. Louis woman looked up “what to do if you husband is upset you are pregnant” on her phone, according to search warrants.
Beau Rothwell, 28, reported the disappearance of his six-weeks-pregnant wife, Jennifer Rothwell, on Nov. 12, after she failed to show up for work at a chemical engineering firm. Two days later, authorities charged him with second-degree murder and tampering with physical evidence in connection with his 28-year-old wife’s slaying.
Rothwell is currently being held without bond after authorities on Nov. 19 located his wife’s body—which was found after he gave up information on her location, police said.
In the newly released search warrants obtained by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, investigators say Beau Rothwell called authorities at 9:44 p.m. on Nov. 12 to report his wife of four years missing. He initially told investigators they had spent the night before watching cooking television shows together, and he had last seen her leaving for work the next morning.
Police later found her car parked with her cell phone inside about a mile from their home just outside Creve Coeur.
“She has not been seen or in contact with anyone since leaving her home. Jennifer has no history of leaving and is normally in contact with family members and friends on a daily basis," St. Louis County police said at the time of her disappearance.
When authorities tried to search their home, Rothwell did not let police enter and barred them from looking at his car and cell phone. He also refused to give police a DNA sample, and immediately requested an attorney.
As they searched the perimeter of the couple’s home, investigators found various cleaning supplies, including rubber gloves and paper towels in a trash can, the warrants state. St. Louis County police told The Daily Beast in a statement video surveillance also shows Rothwell purchasing the supplies with a gift card and cash at Dierbergs grocery store on Nov. 11.
“This purchase was oddly at a time during a major snow event involving dangerous driving conditions, and was also contradictory to Beau Rothwell’s statement that he was home with his wife all night,” the warrant states.
On Nov. 13, after obtaining a search warrant for the couple’s home, detectives found “empty cleaning bottles, wet carpet soaked with bleach, large areas of blood in carpeting and underlying pad,” police said.
“DNA from the victim’s mother and father was analyzed and is consistent with the blood found in the carpet,” the warrant states.
Detectives also described the home as having an “overwhelming” smell of bleach and other cleaners, adding that the drywall in the basement appeared to be damaged and contained samples of human hair.
In the attached garage, investigators found a 2015 GMC Canyon pick-up truck that also smelled of bleach. The night, Rothwell was arrested on suspicion of murder.
On Nov. 18, authorities found Jennifer in a wooded area during a six-hour search near Troy, Missouri. According to the Post-Dispatch, detectives found the 28-year-old naked and partially covered in branches and brush after her husband allegedly gave up information about her location. The medical examiner’s office has not yet determined her official cause of death.
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