Updated: 4/24/15 - 5:38 AM

La Salle County Homicide Investigation
Two men are being charged with first degree murder in an ongoing homicide investigation in La Salle County. The La Salle County Sheriff's Office says 48-year old William Horman of Dayton and 21-year old Jonathan Beckman of Wedron have both been charged with first degree murder and concealment of a homicide. Harmon and Beckman are accused of killing and burning the body of 47-year old Robert Dowd of Dayton according to police. La Salle County Sheriff Tom Templeton says the investigation began on a missing persons complaint and through the investigation, the case became a homicide investigation.

La Salle County State's Attorney Brian Towne says Horman and Beckman allegedly bludgeoned-to-death Dowd at his business, Rob's Washout, on Illinois Route 71 at Dayton Road, north of Interstate 80. The two suspects then put Dowd's body into a pickup truck and took it to a property near the Fox River in Dayton. Sheriff Templeton says the body was incinerated on a burn pile on that property and then disposed of in the Fox River. Towne says it took approximately two days for the suspects to burn and dispose of the body.

Towne says Horman was employed at Dowd's truck wash and Beckman worked on an as-needed basis. Through the investigation, Towne says it is believed that Dowd and Horman spoke about becoming business partners, however Dowd thought it was not in his best interest to make Horman a partner. Towne says witnesses that spoke with Horman after his meeting said he was upset about not becoming a partner in the business and that's when Horman told several people that he had the intention to kill Dowd.

Templeton mentioned that the investigation continues at three separate locations, including on the property along the Fox River where investigators are sifting through the burn pile for bodily remains. Ottawa River Rescue along with other divers have also been called in to help in the investigation by searching for remnants in the Fox River.

Both Horman and Beckman have indictment hearing on May 5th with Horman's court date set on May 7th and Beckman's court date on May 8th. Both men were charged with first degree murder which is punishable by 20 to 60 years in prison, along with concealment of a homicide, which carries a sentence of two to five years. Both are currently in the La Salle County Jail being held on a $2 million bond.

Brian Towne commends the La Salle County Sheriff's Office along with the Illinois State Police for their efforts in the ongoing efforts of the investigation.

Jonathan Beckman
Jonathan Beckman (image: La Salle County Sheriff's Office)
William Horman
William Horman (image: La Salle County Sheriff's Office)

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Unemployment numbers continue to fall throughout the area following the release of the March jobs report. The newest report from the Illinois Department of Employment Security shows La Salle County fell .2 percent in March from February to 7.3 percent. Unemployment in Bureau and Putnam Counties fell half-a-percent in both areas. Bureau County is down to 6.6 percent and Putnam County is down to 6.7 percent. Overall job numbers grew 375 with the biggest gains in financial activities and government, while professional services saw the biggest decline.

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