Brian Edward Smith, 32, of Imperial, was charged Thursday with second Degree murder in the death of Heather Renee Beckley, 34, of Pevely. The two had been dating and were in a relationship, according to police investigators
On Sunday at about 8:30 a.m., the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a person laying in the woods in the vicinity of Butler Valley Drive and Antonia Valley Court in Imperial. Upon arrival, deputies discovered an unidentified woman who was deceased. Indications of trauma to the body were found. The Major Case Squad was activated at the request of Jefferson County Sheriff Oliver “Glenn” Boyer.
The medical examiner determined the victim had sustained trauma to the head from blunt force.
Investigators followed numerous leads during the investigation and identified suspect as a male acquaintance of the victim. The suspect had been arrested early in the investigation on drug-related charges.
Mark Tulgetske, with the Major Case Squad, said Smith and Beckley were dating and had been using methamphetamine before the murder but did not elaborate as there are several other leads investigators are following as there may be other charges filed in the case. He also declined to say what the blunt object was that was used "numerous times" in blows to her head, or why the couple was in the woods.
The area in the woods where Beckley was found is about 8 to ten miles from her home.