Eileen Schnitker Berkely Missouri woman beaten to death with baseball bat by her neighbor, Isaac Heath, while sitting on front porch. No known motive.
A Missouri man has been charged with first degree murder for allegedly beating his 76 year old neighbor to death with a baseball bat as she sat on the front porch of her Berkely home, Wednesday morning.
Arrested in the murder of Eileen Benson Schnitker was 31 year old next door neighbor, Isaac Heath, who was overheard saying it ‘felt good’ when he stopped swinging the bat according to court documents released Thursday.
Eileen Schnitker according to authorities had been ‘violently’ beaten in the face and head and suffered stab wounds to the abdomen according to the St Louis Dispatch.
First respondents attempted to resuscitate the victim when they arrived at her residence circa 9.30am, but it was too late according to witnesses cited by FOX2.
Schnitker’s niece, Cheryl Benson Kaufman of Tampa, Florida, said her aunt was an extraordinary woman. ‘The most caring, loving. Always positive,’ Kaufman told the Dispatch. ‘She adored her family. Smart as a damn whip.’
Mental health issues
St. Louis County Prosecutor Wesley Bell said the crime left him speechless.
Police arrested Heath Wednesday at his home without incident, and he was being held Thursday in the St. Louis County Jail in lieu of $750,000 cash bail. In addition to first degree murder, Heath is charged was also charged with armed criminal action. Court records do not list an attorney for Heath, and his relatives couldn’t be reached.
According to a Berkeley police detective, Heath was standing on Schnitker’s front porch, swinging the bat, when a witness heard Heath say, ‘That felt good.’
To date, police declined to offer a possible motive for the attack.
Neighbors say Heath appeared to be suffering mental health issues since his family moved out recently. Heath had lived at the home with his parents on Kathlyn Drive until about a month ago, when his parents moved out, neighbor Erin Cooper told the Dispatch.
After the move, Cooper said she heard noises coming from the home, either loud music or screaming or shouting. Police showed up a few times in the middle of the night to check things out, Cooper said.
‘He was having some mental issues, mentally unstable,’ said Cooper, who lives across the street. ‘Since his parents moved, I have not seen him leave the house once. Just screaming and loud music.’
On the night before Schnitker’s killing, someone called police to report Heath yelling in his backyard. By the time officers arrived, Heath was calm according to Berkely police.
Schnitker’s son who lived just down the road said he didn’t know Heath. The son added that he didn’t think his mom was having any problems with Heath. ‘She wasn’t (afraid of him), not to my knowledge,” Schneider told the Dispatch.
The mandatory sentence for first-degree murder in Missouri is life in prison without eligibility for parole. The death sentence is still an option but the prosecutor’s office has said it won’t ask for it.