HILLSBORO, Mo. -- A $10 tip that smelled of mothballs led police to the arrest of a suspect in the fatal beating of an 85-year-old woman.
Harold L. Felker, 27, of High Ridge was being held without bond in the Jefferson County jail Friday on a capital murder charge in the stomping death of Lillie E. Hildebrant.
The woman's chest was crushed during the robbery of her Fenton home last week. Authorities said about $10,000 was taken in the robbery.
'She kept the money in one of those clothes bags that hang up in the closet,' an investigator said, 'and she kept it in there with mothballs so bugs and moths wouldn't get it.
Felker was at an auto shop Tuesday when investigators seeking leads in the murder stopped by. They noticed that a $10 bill Felker used to tip a mechanic smelled of mothballs. They investigated further and found Felker had just rented a safe deposit box.
'A man that usually was broke all of a sudden had rented this safe deposit box,' the investigator said. 'Now he was even wealthy enough to tip the mechanic for working on his car.
'Nobody does that, not nowadays.'
Police also arrested Ronald E. Walter, 32, of Cedar Hill, who had worked with Felker at a moving firm. Walter, who is charged with first-degree murder, told police Felker stomped Mrs. Hildebrandt to death.