ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. (KMOV.com) – Beau Rothwell, the husband of missing St. Louis County woman Jennfier Rothwell, was charged Thursday night in connection with her disappearance.
Beau Rothwell was charged with tampering with physical evidence Thursday. An additional charge of second-degree murder was filed Friday. St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell's office has not yet commented on what led to that murder charge.
A probable cause statement said he was caught on video buying cleaning products including bleach, carpet cleaner, and gloves on Nov. 11, the day before Jennifer Rothwell was reported missing. Two days later, police obtained a search warrant for the Rothwell home where detectives found a wet carpet soaked with bleach and large areas of blood, police said.
Detectives used Jennifer's parent's DNA to compare it to the blood found in the house. That DNA was a match.
That search resulted in police transitioning the investigation from a missing persons case to a homicide investigation Thursday morning.
Meanwhile, the search for Jennifer continued late Thursday. Officers were seen searching a wooded area in between where Jennifer Rothwell's car was found and where she lives. Police have put crime scene tape up at Ross Avenue and Sparrowwood Drive.
Police said Jennifer, 28, was last seen Tuesday at her home. Her car, a Hyundai Sonata, was found near Olive and Fee Fee in Creve Coeur around 9:45 that night.
She has no history of running off and is normally in contact with family members and friends on a daily basis, police said, but she hasn’t reached out to anyone since leaving her home.
Rothwell’s family is offering a $25,000 reward for any information that leads to her whereabouts.
Her mother, Robin von Hausen, said her daughter had just moved to West County with her husband. Rothwell works at DuPont as a chemical engineer.
“She works hard. People like her. She has a lot of friends at DuPont,” von Hausen said.
Her family said police found Rothwell’s cellphone in the car but her purse was gone.
Von Hausen said it was one of her DuPont co-workers who tipped them off that something might have happened.
“A coworker texted and said, ‘Hey, how is Jennifer?’ They assumed she just hadn’t come into work because of the weather or whatnot. So, it wasn’t until late 6 ,or so, in the evening before we even knew she hadn’t made it to work,” von Hausen said.
Beau Rothwell filed a police report Tuesday night and Wednesday posted to Facebook asking for help in the search.
According to Jennifer's Facebook page, the couple was married in September 2015.
Beau made his first court appearance Friday morning. He is currently being held without bond and a judge ordered him not to have contact with the victim's family.
Anyone with information about Rothwell is asked to contact St. Louis County police or CrimeStoppers.