UPDATE: Woman Admits Role In Rockford Murder

UPDATE: Woman Admits Role In Rockford Murder

It’s been almost three months since a man was mysteriously found dead in his home. Now police have a young Rockford woman in custody accused of the violent crime.
UPDATE (11/4/14) - Caldwell pled guilty in court today to conspiracy to commit 1st degree murder.  She was sentenced to 15 years in prison, the maximum punishment the law allows.

ROCKFORD- Sawyer Road is quiet today.  The setting is quite different than a murder investigation scene that took place on July 18th. That’s when Rockford police conducted a welfare check and found James Schoener, 63, dead in the bathroom.

"I was in shock," explained Neighbor Sharon Acardo.

Acardo has lived in the neighborhood for 34 years. She says local families have felt scared and uneasy knowing the suspect was on the loose.

"Some of them have even moved away because of what had happened and because they had children," said Acardo.

But now police do have a suspect in custody. Crystal Caldwell, 31, was already in jail for unlawful use of a credit card. Caldwell is now charged with first degree murder, conspiracy to commit first degree murder, robbery, and residential burglary.

Next door neighbors mention they had seen Caldwell at Schoener's house several times before his death. Now neighbors are just happy police have someone in custody.

"They’re at ease now that they know the suspect has been caught. There’s not so much tension," said Acardo.

Caldwell is being held at the Winnebago County Jail on $50 thousand dollars bond.
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