Crime

UPDATE: Police say suspect in custody in Belleville killing

Nathan Funkhouser, who Major Case Squad investigators say was murdered.
Nathan Funkhouser, who Major Case Squad investigators say was murdered.

Major Case Squad detectives said a suspect in the killing of a 34-year-old man found dead in a Belleville apartment Sunday evening was taken into custody Tuesday.

According to a statement, “investigators with the Major Case Squad located the suspect who was known to (Nathan Funkhouser) and took the suspect into custody.”

The suspect was located following statements given numerous acquaintances of Funkhouser. Those acquaintances “provided critical information” that led to the development of the suspect, police said. Additional information about the suspect was not immediately released.

Funkhouser was found unresponsive Sunday evening after friends who hadn’t seen him in a while asked police to conduct a well-being check.

An autopsy conducted Monday revealed the manner of Funkhouser’s death to be a homicide. Further autopsy details were not released.

At the time of his death, Funkhouser had five pending felony charges against him for unlawful possession of a controlled substance. He was due to appear at the St. Clair County Courthouse on March 15 in connection with the charges.

GUEST BOOK: Nathan Funkhouser

In August, Funkhouser was one of multiple suspects arrested during a heroin crackdown conducted by police across the metro-east. He was one of 35 people to be arrested in the police operation.

At the time of the arrest, Funkhouser was listed as living in O’Fallon. But he was found dead in an apartment in the 500 block of North 40th Street on Sunday, and police said that was his residence at the time.

Megan Gonsalves, an O’Fallon resident whose boyfriend lives next-door to Funkhouser’s apartment, said Tuesday that neither she nor her boyfriend had seen or heard from Funkhouser since the middle of last week.

Gonsalves said she was not at her boyfriend’s apartment Sunday when police found Funkhouser unresponsive in his upper-floor apartment.

“He did have a drug problem,” Gonsalves said.

Funkhouser kept cats in his apartment, and Gonsalves pointed one out as it roamed the upper gangway of the building, poking at a bowl of water outside another neighbor’s door. She said the neighbors are teaming up to feed the cats until someone adopts them.

“The police said if they take them, they’ll go to a kill shelter,” Gonsalves said.

According to court records, Laura Althardt of O’Fallon was Funkhouser’s attorney in recent cases. She could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday.

Belleville Police Department Lt. Matt Eiskant has not commented on how Funkhouser was killed. Investigators haven’t said whether the killing could have had anything to do with the drug charges.

Eiskant said Monday that Funkhouser had visible injuries when his body was found. His death was later ruled a homicide after an autopsy.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Major Case Squad at 618-234-1212, ext. 2770.

Tobias Wall: 618-239-2501, @Wall_BND

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