An autopsy was conducted on the victim last week, and last week officials investigating the homicide declined to provide information on the cause of death.
The sheriff's office received a report on the afternoon of Oct. 3 that resulted in deputies being dispatched to the Newell residence in the 200 block of West Helkin Drive in Bonnie. Authorities had received a call from out of state to check on the well being of Rita Newell. Authorities discovered her body deceased at the residence.
Law enforcement officials were able to collect enough information to identify Timothy Newell as a suspect in the homicide. Newell is the adopted grandson of the victim.
Timothy Newell was arrested in Missouri with the help of the Sweet Springs, Mo., Police Department and FBI field offices in Las Vegas, Marion and Fairview Heights. Also assisting local police were the Saline County, Mo., Sheriff's Office, Missouri Highway Patrol and the Marshal City Police Department.
Online court records reveal Newell has an extensive criminal record in Kane County. Newell is originally from the Aurora area, but was living with the victim at the time of last week's incident.
The alleged murder last weekend is the first in Jefferson County since the July 2006 slaying of local businessman Randy Farrar. The last murder in Mt. Vernon occurred in May 2011 when cab driver Charles Ellis was gunned down. Four suspects were eventually captured and are awaiting dispositions of their cases.