Authorities: Body found in search for missing Missouri woman

Authorities investigating the disappearance of a woman from the St. Louis, Missouri, area say they believe they’ve found her body

TROY, Mo. -- Information provided by a missing St. Louis-area woman’s husband has led authorities to a body that’s believed to be that of the woman, police said Tuesday.

The body was discovered around 11:15 p.m. Monday in a remote area near the town of Troy and about 45 miles (72 kilometers) northwest of the couple’s home. The 6,400-acre (2,590-hectare) Cuivre River State Park is in the area.

Authorities have been searching since last week for Jennifer Rothwell, 28, a chemical engineer from St. Louis County, and she’s been presumed dead.

“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,” St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar told reporters.

Rothwell’s husband, Beau Rothwell, 28, is jailed without bond on charges of second-degree murder and evidence tampering. Police said he provided information through his attorney to investigators Monday afternoon that aided the search.

Beau Rothwell was spotted Nov. 11 on video purchasing cleaning products, including bleach, carpet cleaner and gloves, according to a police probable cause statement. Jennifer Rothwell was reported missing Nov. 12, and her car was found abandoned less than 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) from their home later that day.

Beau Rothwell was arrested Nov. 13 after a search of the couple’s home, the same day police announced the case was being investigated as a homicide. Detectives who searched the home found a wet carpet soaked with bleach and large areas of blood, some of which got into the underlying carpet pad, the probable cause statement said.

Police have not disclosed a potential motive. Beau Rothwell’s attorney has declined comment.

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.”

Jennifer Rothwell’s family offered a $25,000 reward for information leading 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.

“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.