Former 'Family Feud' Contestant Accused of Murdering Mother of 3

Timothy W. Bliefnick, 39, was charged Monday with two counts of first-degree murder and home invasion in the death of Rebecca Bliefnick

Rebecca Bliefnick
Rebecca Bliefnick. Photo: Facebook

A 41-year-old Illinois nurse was fatally shot, and the suspect is her estranged husband, a former college football star who'd been a contestant on Family Feud.

Timothy W. Bliefnick, 39, was charged Monday with two counts of first-degree murder and home invasion in the death of Rebecca Bliefnick, who was found dead in her Quincy home on Feb. 23 after she didn't pick up her kids from school, WGEM reported.

Bliefnick and some of his family members were contestants on the game show Family Feud in 2020, the Kansas City Star reported.

"It was not a random act of violence," Josh Jones, lead trial attorney for the Adams County State's Attorney, said at a press conference Monday. "However, it is equally as important to recognize the event for what it is — an act of domestic violence."

Bliefnick's attorney Casey Schnack says her client, a sales executive who starred in football at Quincy University in Illinois, will enter a plea of not guilty.

"The state's attorney's office appears to be coming out with a narrative that this was an act of domestic violence. And the fact of the matter is, there was no domestic violence that we are aware of," she tells PEOPLE. "Tim does not have a criminal history. He's never been arrested for battery, domestic battery, anything violent, anything ever."

"There was tremendous pressure from the community for an arrest to be made," says Schnack. "And naturally the estranged spouse is going to be the number one suspect regardless of the other circumstances."

Schnack adds: "He was active in the community. He was a youth football coach. He was actively involved in his church here. A lot of people knew him. It's very surprising that this is where the family is at right now. He's your standard, all-American, Midwestern dad."

The couple was going through a divorce at the time of the slaying.

"They've been separated for two years," says Schnack.

Tim Bliefnick
Tim Bliefnick. Quincy Police Department

Meanwhile, family and friends are mourning the loss of the beloved nurse. According to an online obituary, Rebecca was nominated for the international Daisy Award that honors exceptional care in 2020. She was also a certified trauma nurse, sexual assault nurse examiner and during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, she worked as a traveling nurse.

She also volunteered for an animal rescue group and dedicated her life to her three boys.

"Her boys were her world, her life's greatest gifts," the obituary said. "She was the quintessential 'boy mom,' aptly illustrated by building, for Halloween, Transformers costumes that actually transformed, creating custom 'first day of school' posters each year, and jumping all-in with fishing and frog hunting and anything sports."

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"Becky loved to laugh, and that laugh was contagious," the obituary continued. "Everyone that knew her remembers her random humor. She made the mundane fun. For the upcoming school Olympics, she envisioned an obstacle course ending with a Whoopee Cushion fart to stop the timer!"

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help with funeral expenses and establishing a scholarship fund in her name for her sons.

If you are experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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