Festus Police Cpl. John Beffa said an officer spotted them in the sporting goods aisle and that officer and Beffa approached them. They were arrested and posted to Festus Prison. The St. Louis County detectives were on their way to interview the couple.
Lewis said the credit for the arrests and body recovery went to someone who discovered the van and called the Crystal City police. “I want to thank the person who saw the van and decided to give us a call and get involved,” said the boss.
Investigators were concerned during the previous search that the suspects would dump the body somewhere before traveling on. Lewis said they were lucky that the body was still in the van and that the cold weather saved it.
The surveillance video showed two suspects with the van gassing in Metro East and police late Thursday thought the couple might be in the Godfrey area. The Walmart the search ended at is located at 650 S. Truman Boulevard on the border of Festus and Crystal City. That’s about 45 miles south of the QuikTrip in the Spanish Lake where the van was stolen.
The funeral home owner, William Harris, said the Post-Dispatch earlier on Friday that he had not received an update from officials looking for the body and van. He said he told the woman’s daughter that the body was missing and asked the suspects to be decent and return the body, even if that meant keeping the van.