Murder charge announced in 2013 Madison County cold case

MADISON COUNTY, Ill. – A Pontoon Beach, Illinois, man has been charged in connection with the death of an East St. Louis woman who disappeared in 2013.

“We believe she was murdered and we believe we have found her killer,” Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Haine said Thursday. 

Roger Sutton Jr., 55, is accused of strangling and beating Patrenia Butler-Turner to death. Butler-Turner, a mother of three children and grandmother to four, was 40.

“It’s been hectic,” said Ruth Butler, the victim’s mother. 

Prosecutors charged Sutton with first-degree murder and concealment of a homicidal death. His bail was set at $3 million. Sutton faces up to 60 years in prison on the murder charge and up to 5 years on the concealment charge.

At present, Sutton is serving a prison term at Centralia Correctional Center for possession of methamphetamine. He was supposed to be released for parole on Feb. 14. However, he’ll be immediately transferred to the Madison County Jail on or around that date to face these new charges.

Patrenia Butler-Turner’s family reported her missing on Jan. 17, 2013. Pontoon Beach Police Chief Chris Modrusic said that in December 2022, his office received a tip about skeletal remains being hidden in a wooded area in town.

Members of the Pontoon Beach Police Department, Madison County Sheriff’s Department, and Madison County Coroner’s Office searched an area off Illinois 111 and found the skeletal remains on Dec. 5. A forensic anthropologist helped investigators identify the remains as those of Butler-Turner. On Wednesday, authorities received DNA test results linking the remains to her family members.

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“It’s been sad. It’s been disturbing. (My child) doesn’t even know her grandmother,” said Candace Burnett, the victim’s daughter. “It’s been sad. I just want justice and I want this person to never get out of jail ever, even the other person that was with them, because both of them played a part. That’s all I want to say. That’s it.” 

Detectives tied Sutton to Butler-Turner’s death, leading to the charges.

Sutton’s nephew, Nathan Beyer, 32, was also charged Thursday with one count of concealment of a homicidal death. Prosecutors allege he helped his uncle hide Butler-Turner’s body in the wooded area. Beyer’s bond was set at $500,000.

Category: General News