Friday, Dec 6, 2013
Bonnie Woman Found Dead; Grandson in Custody
BONNIE -- A woman was found dead inside her Jefferson County home and her grandson is now behind bars.
Sheriff's deputies found the body of Rita "Betty" Newell, 84, Thursday after going to her home in Bonnie for a welfare check. The next morning, Newell's grandson, Timothy Newell, 42, was arrested in north-central Missouri.
Officials believe Timothy Newell had been living in his grandmother's home since her husband died last September.
Right now, he's behind bars in Missouri for stealing her vehicle but authorities say more charges are pending.
"Mrs. Newell had friends, she had lived in Bonnie for some time, not her whole life, but for some time, so, it affects communities," said Jefferson County Sheriff Roger Mulch, "and that's what's so unfortunate, especially if it's a tragic death such as the one we have here."
Officials are not saying how Newell died, but it didn't take long for the investigation to spread from this small town across state lines.
Newell's station wagon was missing and police tracked down her grandson driving the vehicle in Sweet Springs, Missouri, where he was arrested.
"We have a suspect in custody, in jail, off the streets within 24 hours and the only good cause of that effect is that justice will be served," said the sheriff.
Mulch says Newell's grandson is a prime suspect and he'll be brought back to Jefferson County next week.
Why she was killed is still under investigation. "We don't know why, what the motive was," Mulch said. "Just, things went bad for some reason and this act was committed."
The Jefferson County Coroner says an autopsy was conducted Friday afternoon, but the results will not be complete for a few weeks. Jefferson County authorities, the FBI and Illinois State Police are working the case.
Wind: 15 MPH
Humidity: 86 %