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Two Ottawa-area men charged with first-degree murder

Posted by wlpo on April 23, 2015

The search for a missing person has turned into a homicide case.

48-year-old William Horman of Dayton and 21-year-old Jonathan Beckman of Wedron both are charged with first-degree murder and a concealment of a homicidal death near Ottawa.

They’re accused of beating 47-year-old Robert Dowd of Dayton to death, burning his body and disposing the ashes.

According to La Salle County Sherriff Tom Templeton, the county got a report last week of a missing person. Through interviews and evidence, they eventually came to the conclusion that the person was likely dead and that Horman and Beckman were the suspects.

Allegedly, Horman and Beckman bludgeoned Dowd to death at his truck-washing business, Rob’s Wash Out, near the Route 71 and I-80 interchange in Ottawa. Horman and Beckman allegedly took the body to property near the Fox River in Dayton, burned the body in a burn pile, and disposed the remains into the Fox River. States attorney Brian Towne alleges it took them two days to fully dispose of the body.

Horman was employed at Dowd’s truck-washing business, and allegedly had talks with Dowd to become a partner. After Dowd said that wasn’t going to happen, witnesses say Horman went around saying he wanted to kill Dowd. Beckman did some part-time work at the business.

Bonds for Horman and Beckman are set at 2 million dollars each. The two will be tried separately and their indictment hearings are set for May 5. The murder charge is punishable by 20 to 60 years in prison, with the concealment charge adding another 2 to 5 years.

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