BLOOMINGTON — Social media exchanges between co-defendants in the July killing of an East Peoria woman may hold clues as to why she was allegedly stabbed and beaten with a crowbar by her daughter, according to search warrant records filed in McLean County Circuit Court.

McLean County Sheriff's Department Detective Morganne Trickett filed the request for Facebook records of exchanges between Matthew Isbell and Christine Roush, who are both charged with murder in the death of Teresa Ann Poehlman.

The 47-year-old victim was found July 2 by hikers at Funks Grove Nature Preserve, southwest of the Twin Cities.

The co-defendants communicated almost exclusively through Facebook, according to the court filing, that also seeks social media records for the victim and a third suspect who has not been arrested.

Isbell told detectives in a July 7 interview that Poehlman was struck over the back of the head with a crowbar and then strangled by Roush during the planned assault that occurred late on July 1 or early July 2 at the wooded site.

Roush "then drug Poehlman into the woods, was gone for approximately ten minutes, and then Rousch returned covered in blood and in possession of a knife," Isbell told investigators, according to the detective's search warrant request.

After the killing, Isbell and Roush drove back to the Bloomington hotel where she was staying. She cleaned up in a sink, Isbell told police.

The crowbar allegedly used in the killing was found later by police on a bridge near Peoria.

During her police interview, Roush, 22, of Washington, denied any involvement in the homicide. A Jan. 13 trial has been set for Isbell, 20, of Marquette Heights. A trial date for Roush has not been set. 

The reason Poehlman came to Bloomington to meet her daughter has not been disclosed by police, but references to Roush as her "biological daughter" suggest the two may have reunited after a separation.

The two women were staying in separate rooms at the Days Inn & Suites on Brock Drive. Roush checked out of her room on July 2 and was located by police on July 7 at a hotel in East Peoria.

The involvement of the third suspect, a man believed to be living in the Twin City area, included instructions to Roush on how to dispose of the body and obtain new cellphones after the killing, Isbell told police. 

The alleged accomplice shut down his Facebook page and cellphone the same day the two other suspects were questioned, according to the court filing.

Roush remains in custody in lieu of $400,035 and Isbell must post $300,035 to be released.    

Follow Edith Brady-Lunny on Twitter: @pg_blunny



Reporter for The Pantagraph.