At the time, investigators suspected Roger Carroll to be responsible for her disappearance, but several searches did not find anything.
In April 2018, authorities went back to Carroll's property, using backhoes and hand shovels to search a very specific area in rugged and hilly part of the land. On April 12, prosecutors charged Carroll with three counts of first-degree murder.
The case was reopened after Carroll's son testified to the Madison County grand jury. He told the grand jury his father forced him to hide Woodward's remains on the property.
When investigators searched Carroll's land in April 2018, they recovered and identified 25 pieces of bone fragments belonging to Woodward, as well as the shell casing from the gun Carroll used to kill her. Carroll was convicted for the murder in March 2020.
Carroll also blamed his attorneys for advising him not to testify, according to the Telegraph. “I think it was the wrong decision,” he said. He said he plans to appeal.
Madison County First Assistant State's Attorney Crystal Uhe said the murder indirectly involved a dispute between the victim and her stepdaughter, Heather Woodward, whom prosecutors have said Carroll used to lure Woodward to his Jerseyville property where he killed her, the Alton Telegraph reports.