Madison County State's Attorney Thomas Gibbons entertains questions at the press conference in Alton on Thursday. (Photos by Chris Rhodes)

Roger Carroll

ALTON - After nearly a decade, the family of East Alton woman, Bonnie Woodward, has closure - albeit tragically.

At a 3:30 p.m. press conference at the Alton Police Department, Alton Police Chief Jason Simmons and Madison County State's Attorney Tom Gibbons announced the remains of Woodward had been discovered in a secluded area of Jersey County, which had previously been searched shortly after Woodward went missing from her place of employment, Eunice Smith Nursing Home in Alton, on June 25, 2010.

Roger W. Carroll, 52, of 20758 Creek Road in Jerseyville, has been charged with three felonies in two counties. He is accused of luring Woodward to Jersey County where authorities said he killed Woodward with a Stoeger Cougar 9mm Luger by shooting her several times about the body before burning her corpse and concealing it.

Carroll has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder in Jersey County - both special class felonies carrying 20-60 years in prison and one count of concealment of a homicidal death, a Class 3 Felony, carrying three to five years in prison.

In Madison County, Carroll was charged with aggravated kidnapping. Gibbons said the kidnapping occurred in Madison County before Woodward's tragic death and the grizzly concealment of it, which allegedly followed in Jersey County.

Carroll is in custody at the Madison County Jail for an open obstruction of justice charge from 2010. He has a $1 million bail there in regards to the kidnapping and a no-bail warrant from Jersey County. He has yet to receive the additional charges and go before a judge. Jersey County States Attorney Ben Goetten said assistant Madison County States Attorney Jennifer Mudge has been appointed as a special prosecutor in that case.

Mudge has worked in the Madison County States Attorney's Office specifically on cold cases, with this one being the first she reexamined in the last year.

It was not that research explicitly, but a tip from the public, which led to the renewed search on the property near Creek Road for Woodward's body, both Simmons and Gibbons implied.

They thanked the multi-jurisdictional work of the Alton Police Department, Illinois State Police CSI and forensics team and both the Madison and Jersey County Sheriff's Offices for their work in the case. Simmons said authorities worked together to dig in the wet and cold dirt and mud to recover evidence to give Woodward's family closure on the cold case.

Gibbons closed the press conference by wishing the family peace and telling all of those assembled to keep them in their thoughts and prayers.

Carroll was known to Woodward previously, Gibbons said. He said they had a "basic relationship."

Reporter Cory Davenport can be reached via call or text at (618) 419-3046 or via email at cory@riverbender.com

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