Roth was troubled by federal investigation, say those close to him in post-suicide interviews

By Steve Korris | Jun 26, 2013

A hearse is pictured turning onto Avalon Drive in Fairview Heights on June 13.

FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS – No one has implicated the late Caseyville police chief J.D. Roth as a suspect in a federal investigation, except Roth himself.

After his June 13 suicide, those close to him told Fairview Heights police that he had been depressed for months about an investigation.

Public records show Roth was arrested on May 8, when state police picked him up on two charges of official misconduct.

Roth shot himself in his back yard, at 9704 Avalon in Fairview Heights. Details of the incident were made available to the Record on June 25 through a Freedom of Information Act request.

His girlfriend, Analiza Cecil of O’Fallon, found his body at about 10:30 a.m.

Patrolman Tony Flinn wrote in his report, “Cecil said Roth has been very depressed lately and has made several statements about knowing what to do if something happened to him.”

She told Flinn she normally heard from Roth first thing every morning but had not heard from him that day.

She told him she found a text message Roth had sent at 1:14 a.m.

He had written, “Babe, I can’t live with myself anymore, see me in every full moon.”

She told him she drove to the house and searched for him.

“Cecil stated she was upstairs when she looked out a back window and observed Roth lying on the ground,” Flinn wrote.

Detective Ryan Weisenborn conducted a video interview with Cecil, who told him Roth kept saying the number 13.

She told him that two days earlier, Roth said the 13th was coming up.

Jodee Blue of Millstadt, a sister of Roth, told Flinn her brother was under a lot of stress and not getting any sleep.

She said the media hounded him.

She said two Caseyville cops were after him, but did explain further.

Sister Merrilee Roth of Millstadt told Flinn her brother had been very sad the last few months and always sounded down.

“Merrilee said the situation with the ongoing federal investigation has ‘broke his heart,’” Flinn wrote.

“Merrilee said she was not surprised by the suicide due to Jerry’s current situation.”

Flinn wrote that a friend of Roth, Ronald Martin of Caseyville, approached him and said he knocked on the door around 10:30 a.m.

Martin said Roth did not answer.

“Martin said he periodically comes by to visit with Roth because he knows Roth has been feeling down...,” Flinn wrote.

While Flinn conducted interviews, Sergeant Charles Beyersdorfer scanned the scene.

He wrote that on a nearby table he found paperwork indicating Roth had paid for funeral arrangements for himself on June 11.

He wrote that on the kitchen table he found an expandable folder containing Roth’s bank account, retirement funds, and burial instructions.

“Notes left in this folder indicated there was a large sum of money in the green safe and multiple guns.” Beyersdorfer wrote.

Officers counted 63 firearms.

Beyersdorfer wrote that a computer check was run on the guns.

“All were found to be clear,” he wrote.

He wrote that he found a notarized will that Roth executed on May 30, leaving his estate to his two sisters.

“When the safes were opened, both sisters were present and took custody of the money,” Beyersdorfer wrote.

He wrote that he did not find any note or message indicating why Roth shot himself.


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