"Family Feud" Contestant Charged With Wife's Murder After Joking on Show His Biggest Mistake Was Saying "I Do"
The estranged husband of an Illinois woman found dead in her home has been charged.
The estranged husband of an Illinois woman found dead in her home has been charged with her murder, police say. The 41-year-old mother of three was fatally shot and Timothy W. Bliefnick, 39, was charged with two counts of first-degree murder and home invasion in the death of Rebecca Bliefnick, Adam Yates, the Chief of Police for the Quincy Police Department said in a recent press conference that local station WGEM aired. The couple was going through a divorce at the time of the murder and had been separated for the last two years. Chief Yates emphasized, "I want to remind everyone that in our criminal justice system, individuals are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty." He added, there's much work yet to be done and the investigation continues, but today's development is a significant step forward in the search for justice for Rebecca."
Rebecca Bliefnick Had Multiple Gunshot Wounds
On February 23rd, the body of Bliefnick, who was an award-winning nurse for her work during the height of the pandemic, was found after she didn't pick her kids up from school. A family member discovered Bliefnick with multiple gunshot wounds. Quincy Police Sgt. James Brown addressed the whereabouts of the children in the press conference and said an Illinois Department of Family Services Agent was working with them. "The concern for the three children is a concern we've had as a priority during this whole time."
There Are No Other Suspects
Chief Yates said at this time there are no other suspects and stated, "We've learned long ago that tunnel vision can be detrimental in this type of investigation, so from the very beginning, any type of homicide, family members are always looked at, neighbors are looked at, any random reports of violence are looked at. Everybody was considered a suspect from the very beginning and this is exactly where the evidence has led us up to this point, and that's how we got here."
Timothy Bliefnick Was a Contestant on Family Feud and Joked Saying I Do Was a Mistake
Bliefnick appeared on the game show with his siblings and parents in an episode that aired back in 2020 and now some of his comments are coming under scrutiny. "What's your biggest mistake you made at your wedding?," host Steve Harvey asked Bliefnick during the show, FOX News first reported. "Honey, I love you, but, 'Said I do,'" Bliefnick replied. "Not my mistake, not my mistake — I love my wife. I'm gonna get in trouble for that, aren't I?" According to FOX News, the episode was originally taped in the fall of 2019.
"Not a Random Act of Violence"
The state believes this was a case of domestic abuse and in the press conference Josh Jones, lead trial attorney for the Adams County State's Attorney, stated this was "not a random act of violence." He added, "However, it is equally as important to recognize the event for what it is — an act of domestic violence." Bliefnick's attorney Casey Schnack disagrees and told PEOPLE, "The state's attorney's office appears to be coming out with a narrative that this was an act of domestic violence. And the fact of the matter is, there was no domestic violence that we are aware of," she told the outlet. "Tim does not have a criminal history. He's never been arrested for battery, domestic battery, anything violent, anything ever."
There's Evidence of a Break In At Rebecca's Home, According to Bliefnick's Attorney
Schnack disputes domestic violence claims and says there's evidence of a break in at the victim's home. She told PEOPLE, "And that's an allegation that [police] are still looking into, based upon evidence that they've sent to the crime lab and other evidence that they've collected along the way. She added: "There was a window that was broken, but I do not know if the window was broken from the inside or the outside."
Bliefnick is Maintaining Innocence
Schnack said, "There was tremendous pressure from the community for an arrest to be made. And naturally the estranged spouse is going to be the number one suspect regardless of the other circumstances." Schnack adds: "He was active in the community. He was a youth football coach. He was actively involved in his church here. A lot of people knew him. It's very surprising that this is where the family is at right now. He's your standard, all-American, Midwestern dad."
Friends and Family Mourn Rebecca
Loved ones of Rebecca are coming together to grief and online obituary shares, "Her boys were her world, her life's greatest gifts," the obituary said. "She was the quintessential 'boy mom,' aptly illustrated by building, for Halloween, Transformers costumes that actually transformed, creating custom 'first day of school' posters each year, and jumping all-in with fishing and frog hunting and anything sports." The obit also shared, "Becky loved to laugh, and that laugh was contagious," the obituary continued. "Everyone that knew her remembers her random humor. She made the mundane fun." A GoFundMe page has been set up to help with funeral expenses and to help pay for the education of her children.