ST. LOUIS (AP/KMOV/Meredith) - Search warrants say a St. Louis-area woman whose husband is charged in her death had looked up “what to do if your husband is upset you are pregnant" on her cellphone before she went missing last month.
According to court documents, Beau Rothwell told officers he last saw his wife Jennifer Rothwell when she was leaving their home to go to work at 6:20 a.m. on Nov. 12. According to phone records, Beau Rothwell then missed four calls from his wife.
Around 8 p.m. that night, Beau Rothwell said a co-worker of Jennifer Rothwell's informed him she never showed up for work. They then searched for her car and found it parked on the shoulder of a road about a 1.2-mile drive from the Rothwell home.
Jennifer Rothwell's car did not appear to have been in a crash and was otherwise drivable, police said. Her phone was found inside the vehicle, according to authorities. Around 9:30 a.m. on Nov. 12, about 12 hours before Beau Rothwell reported his wife missing, police said Jennifer Rothwell’s car had been found unoccupied and had been tagged as abandoned.
Court documents state that Beau Rothwell told investigators he was at home with his wife watching cooking shows on television the night before he reported her missing.
Beau Rothwell declined consent to allow detectives to search his home. He also declined to let detectives search his car, phone and obtain a DNA sample via a buccal swab.
On Nov. 13, a trash can was placed outside of the Rothwell home. The trash was seized and searched by detectives. According to court documents, in the trash were various cleaning supplies, including rubber gloves and paper towels, in addition to a receipt for the cleaning items that was dated Nov. 11 at 9:22 p.m. from a local grocery store
Detectives then said they obtained video surveillance from the store that showed Beau Rothwell using cash and a gift card to buy various cleaning supplies at the time he was supposed to be at home with Jennifer Rothwell. Authorities said the purchase was “oddly at a time during which a major snow event involving dangerous driving conditions” and that it also contradicted his claim that he was home with Jennifer Rothwell all night.
On Nov. 13, Detectives obtained a search warrant for the Rothwell home, at which time Beau Rothwell was detained and taken to the St. Louis County Justice Center.
When detectives searched the home, they reportedly smelled an overwhelming scent of bleach and associated cleaners. Court documents state there were several large areas of red stain at the base of the basement steps that presumptively tested positive for human blood. Authorities said there was also damage to nearby drywall that had samples of apparent human hair fibers. The area was also wet with apparent detergent and had a circulating fan blowing air in an attempt to dry the area, according to court documents.
“Despite the current temperatures in the 30-degree range, several basement windows were found open in an apparent attempt to dissipate the odor bleach and cleaning solvents,” read part of the affidavit.
In the garage, detectives found a 2015 GMC Canyon pickup truck that had a tonneau cover over the truck bed. Court records state a strong odor of bleach seeped from the truck bed. Authorities said despite the cold temperatures, a small window to the garage was open “in an attempt to dissipate the odor.”
Detectives also wrote that Jennifer Rothwell was about six weeks pregnant when she died.
Beau Rothwell is jailed without bond on charges of second-degree murder and evidence tampering. His wife's body was found roughly 45 miles northwest of the couple's home about a week after she went missing.