Retired Mo. Nurse Allegedly 'Savagely Beaten' to Death by Her Neighbor with a Baseball Bat

Eileen Schnitker, 76, was found dead on her Berkeley, Mo., front porch Wednesday. The retired nurse was allegedly beaten in the face and head and stabbed in the abdomen, according to reports

Eileen EJ Schnitker
Photo: Facebook

A Missouri man is behind bars after authorities allege in just-released documents that he beat his neighbor to death with a baseball bat and said, "That felt good," after he killed her.

According to jail records, Isaac Heath, 31, faces charges of first-degree murder and armed criminal action.

Citing court documents, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that 76-year-old Eileen Schnitker was found dead on her Berkeley, Mo., front porch Wednesday. The retired nurse was allegedly beaten in the face and head and stabbed in the abdomen.

Her next-door neighbor, Heath, was arrested Wednesday.

KSDK-TV reports that a witness who called 911 told police they saw Heath standing on Schnitker's porch, swinging a bat and hitting an object. The witness also reportedly heard Heath say, "That felt good," when he stopped swinging, the documents state.

Authorities were called to Heath's home the night before the alleged murder. The suspect was reportedly screaming in his backyard, according to the Post-Dispatch. When police arrived, he was calm, the report says, citing Berkeley police chief Art Jackson.

Isaac Heath
St. Louis County Justice Services

The victim's son, 49-year-old Jason Schneider, told the Post-Dispatch that Schnitker and Heath did not know each other.

"She wasn't (afraid of him), not to my knowledge," Schneider said.

Schneider said he rushed to his mother's home Wednesday after a neighbor called to let him know someone threw a statue through her window. Police were already at the scene when he arrived.

Schneider speculates his mother, who "lived for her animals," was attacked by Heath when she went to investigate the disturbance, according to the Post-Dispatch.

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St. Louis Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell said the deadly assault left him "speechless."

"The fact patterns of some crimes leave you speechless, and this is one of those," Bell said, per KSDK. "We're not talking about a shoot-out. This is a neighbor checking on her home and she was savagely beaten."

The victim's niece, Cheryl Benson Kaufman, told the outlet her aunt was "always positive."

"She adored her family," Kaufman said. "Smart as a damn whip."

It wasn't immediately clear if Heath retained an attorney or entered a plea to the charges.

A judge set his bond at $750,000.

Police haven't revealed a motive in the deadly attack.

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