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Funks Grove

Barricades blocked entry to an area of Funks Grove Nature Preserve after the body of Teresa Poehlman of East Peoria was discovered there by hikers in July 2017. Poehlman's daughter, Christine Roush, and her friend, Matt Isbell, were charged with her murder. Roush is serving 40 years in prison. 

BLOOMINGTON — The trial of a Marquette Heights man accused of killing a woman in July 2017 in rural McLean County has been delayed to Aug. 19.

His co-defendant, Christine Roush, 23, of Washington, who is the victim's biological daughter, is serving a 40-year sentence for murder.

Isbell's July 15 trial was moved to August after Assistant State's Attorney Ashley Scarborough told a judge Friday a key state witness is not available in July. 

In another matter, defense lawyer Alison Motta requested additional hours for a private investigator to continue working on the case. Motta previously told Judge Casey Costigan she was dissatisfied with the progress made by an investigator hired with public money to work up to 15 hours on the case.

In a conference call Friday with the judge and Scarborough, Motta said she has hired a new investigator who needs an additional 10 hours to finish his work. Costigan approved the request.

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In his interviews with McLean County Sheriff's Department investigators, Isbell claims he knew Roush planned to kill her mother before he drove the two women to the remote location. The two women had been staying at the same Bloomington motel after Poehlman came to the city to visit her daughter.

Poehlman was stabbed in the chest and neck and strangled, according to autopsy results. Police located a crowbar believed to have been used in the murder on a bridge near Peoria.

Five days after Poehlman's body was found, Roush was arrested at a motel in East Peoria.

According to authorities, Roush's motive for killing her mother stemmed from Poehlman's threats to tell child welfare authorities that Roush was working as a prostitute, a disclosure Roush feared would interfere with her efforts to get custody of her daughter.  

A third suspect who has not been charged was aware of the planning of the murder and assisted the pair with covering up the crime, Isbell told detectives. 

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Contact Edith Brady-Lunny at (309) 820-3276. Follow her on Twitter: @pg_blunny