Police arrest Nathan Leuthold for the murder of his wife

By Audrey Williams

March 6, 2013 Updated Mar 7, 2013 at 11:39 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Peoria police have arrested 37-year-old Nathan Leuthold for allegedly murdering his wife Denise Leuthold on Valentine's Day.

Police still aren't releasing many specifics, but said they arrested Leuthold Wednesday morning for the murder of his wife, who was found shot in the head in her parent's North Peoria home three weeks ago.

Initially, police were called February 14th to the home at 700 Mossville Road on reports of a burglary.

"We believe the husband committed this murder. We believe he staged it to appear to be a burglary," said Peoria Police Chief Steve Settingsgaard.

Chief Settingsgaard said authorities began to suspect Nathan Leuthold because of his behavior and evidence found at the scene.

"There were indication early on that he may have been involved," said Chief Settingsgaard. "It wasn't clear at the time of the offense or at the time that we were on the scene, but there were things that lead us to start to believe that it was possible that he could be the suspect."

Police largely credit the arrest to tips from the public and good police work.

Chief Settingsgaard said the couple had no police record or reported domestic abuse issues. However, he said, "We've got information forwarded to us about issues related to the relationship between the husband and wife and some other things."

Leuthold family members said the couple's three children are being cared for by family members.

The Leuthold's youngest daughter attended preschool less than a mile from the home at Northminster Presbyterian Church.

Michael Shirey, head of staff at Northminster Presbyterian Church said, "She had been in school and her father picked her up at the normal time. Shortly after that we heard the news."

Church officials said they, like many in the community will watch this unfold and remember that Nathan is innocent until proven guilty. In the meantime, they are praying for the family.

"We're doing what we can to help the family and especially the youngest daughter. She has been here at school and the teachers have really been working hard to help her work through what she is dealing with now," said Shirey.

Police said they have no other suspects, but as they continue to work the case anyone with more information is still urged to call Peoria Police or Crimestoppers at 673-9000.