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Estranged husband charged with murder weeks after Illinois nurse and beloved ‘boy mom’ never made it to pick up her kids at school

Tim Bliefnick mugshot

Tim Bliefnick mugshot via Adams County Jail in 2023

Authorities in Illinois on Monday announced that they have arrested the suspect in the murder of Rebecca “Becky” Bernadette Postle Bliefnick, a 41-year-old nurse and mother of three boys.

Quincy Police Chief Adam Yates told reporters during a brief press conference that Bliefnick was shot to death in her home on Feb. 23 by Timothy “Tim” W. Bliefnick, her 39-year-old estranged husband. Becky Bliefnick was reportedly found dead by a family member after she never made it to school to pick up her kids. The suspect was arrested without incident on Monday morning on murder and home invasion charges, Yates said.

“Today’s development is a significant step forward in the search for justice for Rebecca,” Yates said, noting that the “assistance and cooperation of the public was key to moving this investigation forward.”

The police chief said that he hoped Tim Bliefnick’s arrest in this “brutal crime” would “calm the concerns” of a Quincy community “on edge” and “living in fear” in the aftermath of the murder.

Adams County State’s Attorney Gary L. Farha began his brief remarks by thanking his staff and police investigators for their work on the case. He then handed the microphone to Josh Jones, lead trial attorney for Farha’s office.

The prosecutors said that the “heinous and premeditated act” was a “horrific crime” and not a “random act of violence” — but an “act of domestic violence.”

In response to a reporter, Chief Yates said it was not likely at this time that there will be additional arrests.

Authorities said the suspect is expected in court at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday. In the meantime, prosecutors have filed a motion to hold the defendant without bond.

Notably, local reporting two weeks ago from Muddy River News said that Tim Bliefnick’s rental home and car were searched. The report also described the Bliefnicks as estranged, saying that they had been in the midst of a divorce for two years.

Becky Bliefnick’s sister wrote in a GoFundMe campaign that her “best friend” lived a “life of compassion, generosity, faith, and fierce love for her family.”

“She leaves behind three young children and an entire community who loved her more than anything. Becky always envisioned herself working hands-on in the medical profession, so it was no surprise when she chose a career in nursing—her true calling—where she was able to provide care and comfort to people on a daily basis,” said Sarah Reilly. “Moving forward, our whole family will lovingly support and care for the boys for the rest of their lives in the ways we know Becky would want. To do this well, we have established this GoFundMe with the goal of establishing a scholarship fund in Becky’s name as well as to help with family expenses related to Becky’s death and the future care of her boys.”

As of Monday afternoon, the GoFundMe has raised more than $54,000.

“While we remain heartbroken, we are thankful to the Quincy Police Department and all who have worked tirelessly in service of justice for Becky. While the arrest today provides a step towards closure, this journey is far from over and the investigation continues,” Becky’s family said in a statement to Law&Crime. “We are thankful for your continued respect for our privacy as we navigate this next painful chapter. Our highest priority remains protecting and loving Becky’s sons who were the lights of her life. As we continue mourning, we will love and care for them in the ways we know she would want.”

“We appreciate any support of our GoFundMe which was created to support her boys’ future, offset family expenses related to Becky’s death and to establish a scholarship fund in Becky’s name,” the family added. “Your support of our family means the world to us and truly speaks volumes about Becky’s impact on this world.”

An online obituary said that Becky Bliefnick was born and raised in Quincy, and was valedictorian at Quincy Notre Dame High School. She went on to graduate summa cum laude from Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing and Health Sciences, completing her senior year while she was pregnant with her third child, the obit said.

Described as the “quintessential ‘boy mom,'” Becky also raised her children in the Catholic Church to “instill her love for God in her boys.” Becky’s funeral mass occurred on March 3.

Tim Bliefnick attended Becky’s wake to “pay [his] respects,” the defendant reportedly confirmed to Fox News through his lawyer Casey Schnack.

Msgr. Leo Enlow of St. Peter’s in Quincy told KHQA earlier in March that Becky Bliefnick was “one of those you would call a momma bear, that she would do anything for her three boys.”

“The number of people who were present yesterday at the funeral, it was just remarkable that they took time out of their day to come and pray with us,” the Catholic priest reportedly said.

Members of the Bliefnick family, including Tim, made headlines locally years ago for appearing on the popular game show “Family Feud.”

In another since-removed online video from 2020, Tim Bliefnick referred to himself as a two-time defending steak-eating champion.

A still-extant Twitter account in Tim Bliefnick’s name identifies him as a husband, father, “Non-Fiber Marketing for Quincy Recycle, [and] Owner of QTown Crossfit.” Among the last activity from that account was a retweet in 2014 of an account that Becky apparently created to quote one of their young sons.

“When I get older, I’m gonna have big hands like Daddy and then I can carry really heavy things!” said one quote that Tim Bliefnick’s account retweeted.

On Sept. 18, 2013, Tim Bliefnick tweeted: “Been married to my lovely wife for 4 years today! #anniversary”

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Matt Naham is the Senior A.M. Editor of Law&Crime.