Belleville East High School Campus

      In June 1988, Audrey Cardenas’ decomposed body was found in an overgrown creek on the Belleville East High School Campus.  Audrey a 24-year-old native Texan, was working as a newspaper intern at the Belleville News-Democrat. Her disappearance was reported to police after she missed two days of work.   A massive manhunt was organized to find Audrey.  After several days of searching her body was found by a jogger in a creek bed located on the Belleville East High School Campus.   It is believed the cause of Audrey’s death was a massive throat laceration. 

     Rodney Woidtke a mentally ill transient, confessed to the murder of Audrey Cardenas after several hours of intense interrogation.  Rodney Woidtke was later convicted of murder and sentenced to forty-five years in prison.  It was believed by FBI profilers and crime scene investigators that Rodney Woidtke was innocent of the crime.  At the time of Audrey’s disappearance, police and FBI investigators were already investigating several other murders that seemed to be linked.  The FBI at the time believed that a possible serial killer was murdering young women in St. Clair County, between Belleville and Millstadt.  In 1989, Dale Anderson was arrested and convicted of the brutal murder of a mother and her young son.  After careful review of the evidence collected in both murder cases, FBI Profiler Robert Ressler believed that Dale Anderson could have been the serial killer that plagued St. Clair County for over a decade.  Anderson has never admitted guilt in any of the murders.  According to Ressler, all, the murders appeared to be conducted in the same brutal premeditative manner. Woidtke later recanted his confession and proclaimed his innocence.  In 2001 Woidtke won his freedom in a retrial and was released from prison.  In 2014 Rodney Woidtke died due to multiple health issues.