Quincy Police Department Tim Bliefnick
Former Family Feud contestant Timothy “Tim” W. Bliefnick has been charged with the murder of his estranged wife three years after joking about their marriage on the popular game show.
On Monday, Illinois’ Quincy Police Department announced in a press release that the 39-year-old is facing two counts of first degree murder and home invasion in connection with the murder of Rebecca Bliefnick, 41, who was found shot to death in her home on Feb. 23.
Bliefnick and his family members — not including his wife — appeared on the popular game show in 2020, per the Kansas City Star. During the episode, one of the questions posed by host Steve Harvey was “What’s the biggest mistake you made at your wedding?”
“Honey, I love you, but,” Bliefnick prefaced before answering, “Said ‘I do.'”
As the audience gasped at his response, Bliefnick remarked, “Not my mistake! I love my wife.” Then, he jokingly added, “I’m going to get in trouble for that, aren’t I?”
Bliefnick’s lawyer, Casey Schnack, told EW’s sister publication PEOPLE that her client will plead not guilty to the charges against him.
“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 told the outlet. “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,” she added. “And naturally the estranged spouse is going to be the number one suspect regardless of the other circumstances.” Timothy and Rebecca were in the process of divorcing, Schnack said, and had been separated for “two years” prior to her death.
His attorney went on to describe Bliefnick as “your standard, all-American, Midwestern dad,” noting, “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.”
During Monday’s press conference, the Quincy Police Department issued a statement to Rebecca’s family. “Nothing we do as a police department will ever bring Rebecca back to you and her three boys,” they said. “All we can do is use our tools, talents and every available resource to bring you justice. Our thoughts and prayers remain with you.”
A mother of three boys, Rebecca worked as a registered nurse and was also a certified trauma nurse specialist (TNS) and a sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE), her obituary stated. She was nominated for a DAISY Award, which celebrates nurses who administer exceptional care, in 2020. A GoFundMe campaign that aims to establish “a scholarship fund in Becky’s name as well as to help with family expenses related to Becky’s death and the future care of her boys” has been created.
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