A Missouri woman disappeared a decade ago, and officials now say a suspect from Illinois has been charged in connection with her death.
On Feb. 2, officials in Illinois — Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Haine and Pontoon Beach Police Chief Chris Modrusic — announced state prisoner Roger D. Sutton Jr., 55, has been charged with first-degree murder for allegedly strangling and fatally beating Patrenia Butler-Turner, a St. Louis woman who was 40 when she went missing in 2013.
Sutton was also charged with one count of concealment of a homicidal death for allegedly hiding the woman’s body in a wooded area in Pontoon Beach, officials said.
Sutton’s nephew, 32-year-old Nathan Beyer, also was charged with one count of concealment of a homicidal death for allegedly helping hide the victim's remains, according to authorities.
During a press conference, the state's attorney noted the victim was a daughter and mother.
"She was last seen 10 years ago, when her family reported her missing," Haine said. "But today, we can now say that, due to extraordinary police work, we have found Trena’s body, we believe she was murdered, and we believe we have found her killer.”
In December, officials said they received a tip about skeletal remains in a wooded area off Illinois 111 in Pontoon Beach.
On January 31, investigators received the results of DNA tests that linked the skeletal remains to those of Butler-Turner, who was reported missing by her family on Jan. 17, 2013.
Sutton is currently serving a sentence at Centralia Correctional Center for methamphetamine possession and was projected to be released on parole this month, officials said.
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Now, after the completion of his prison sentence, Sutton is expected to be transferred to the Madison County Jail, where he will be held on $3 million bail.
“This team has worked diligently, methodically and with a sense of urgency, in light of the fact that this defendant was scheduled to be released from prison on parole less than two weeks from today," Haine said.
The suspect's nephew, Beyer, was booked into custody on Feb. 2, and his bail was set at $500,000, officials said.
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Candace Burnett, the victim’s daughter, spoke to Fox 2 Now about the case. “It’s been sad. I just want justice and I want this person to never get out of jail ever, even the other person that was with them, because both of them played a part," she said.
Burnett added, “She was a good mom and a good person, loving and caring,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
Sutton faces from 20 to 60 years in prison if convicted of the murder charge.
The concealment of a homicidal death is a class 3 felony and punishable by up to five years in prison.
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