Two men have been charged with first degree murder, dismembering a human body, and concealment of a homicidal death after police said they found the body of a missing woman near a river.
Courtney Coats, 30, had been missing since about Thanksgiving from her home in Alton, Ill., a KSDK-TV news report said. Her dismembered body was discovered along the shoreline of the Illinois River in East Hardin, Ill., which is about 45 minutes northwest of Alton and 75 minutes north of St. Louis.
Coats’ throat was slashed, and she was strangled, investigators told KSDK, adding that she was likely murdered inside her home.
Patrick Chase, 28, and Brandon Chittum, 30, were charged in Coats’ murder. Chase was Coats’ live-in boyfriend and Chittum is Chase’s friend. Investigators told KSDK there was a history of domestic violence between Chase and Coats.
Bond for each suspect was set at $1 million. A murder charge conviction carries a prison sentence of 20 to 60 years; the dismemberment charge carries a term of six to 30 years; the concealment charge brings another two to five years. The defendants must serve 100 percent of their sentences, KDSK reported.
A KMOV-TV report noted that prosecutors will seek the maximum penalty for both suspects.
Here’s a report from KSDK: