A man linked to a 2010 missing-woman case was charged Thursday with murder and concealment of a homicidal death — charges alleging that he burned her body after shooting her.
Roger Carroll, 52, of Jerseyville, was being held in jail without bail and faced two counts of first-degree murder and one count of concealing a homicide, filed Tuesday morning in Jersey County.
Charging documents say Carroll shot and killed Bonnie Woodword, of Alton, with a Stoeger Cougar 9mm Luger pistol on June 25, 2010 — the day the woman went missing. The concealment charge alleges Carroll then burned her body in a fire.
"Roger Carroll lured Bonnie Woodward from Madison County to a remote area in Jersey County, then shot her and burned her body,” Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons said.
The case came to a head after Madison County Assistant State’s Attorney Jennifer Mudge requested to invest time into unsolved, cold-case murders in the county. Woodward’s case was her first target.
It’s very uncommon to solve a cold case after this long, Mudge said. Mudge will be the special prosecutor assigned to this case.
Crews have been scouring the area where Woodward’s burned body was found. Gibbons would not give the location, but said it was where they had previously searched. In 2010, cadaver dogs searched the area and did not find anything. Alton Police Chief Jake Simmons said the crime scene was in a “secluded place.” He credited the unrelenting dedication of officers in multiple departments for the closure in this case.
Jersey County State's Attorney Benjamin Goetten said on Thursday morning that Madison County is "taking the lead on this based upon their experience with the case," but the jurisdiction falls under Jersey County. Police in Alton and Madison County had investigated Woodward's disappearance.
A special prosecutor was being appointed for the case, Goetten said.
Woodward went missing on June 25, 2010, from Alton. She disappeared a week after her 17-year-old stepdaughter, Heather Woodward, also went missing.
Heather Woodward was found July 3 when she walked into the East Alton Public Library and said police were looking for her. She apparently had left home voluntarily and was unharmed.
Her stepmother, however, was never found.
Carroll was initially investigated when his fingerprints were found on Woodward's car. At the time, law enforcement officers searched for Woodward's body around the home of Carroll, 44, on Creek Road east of Jerseyville but did not find anything.
Heather Woodward had allegedly been staying with Carroll and his wife from June 17 to July 3, 2010. In July of that year, officials charged Carroll and his wife, Monica Carroll, with harboring a runaway. Heather Woodward said she had run away from home.
Madison County jailers said Wednesday evening that Carroll was being held there without bail on a charge of “failure to comply with bond.”
Carroll’s original charge of obstruction of justice in 2010 has never been resolved; Madison County court records show it has received approximately 45 continuances over eight years, with the most recent being in February. The lesser misdemeanor of harboring a runaway was consolidated with the obstruction charge in 2017.
Bonnie Woodward was a longtime employee of the Eunice Smith Nursing Home and was last seen by coworkers talking to a man in the parking lot. Her car was left on the lot with the windows down, and her cellphone and credit cards had not been used.
Kara Berg: 618-239-2626, @karaberg95