UPDATE: Rockford man found murdered in his bathtub - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

UPDATE: Rockford man found bound and murdered in his bathtub

House at 519 Sawyer Road where Schoenherr was found dead. House at 519 Sawyer Road where Schoenherr was found dead.

A Rockford man is found dead, tied up in his bathtub and neighbors say this is not the first time he was targeted this week. The situation has many people in the southeast side community concerned about their own safety. It's why even though people were willing to talk on camera they did not want their face seen or their name used.

"Jim wasn't outside or anything and I figured there was something wrong. And the neighbors kind of noticed it because we look out for each other here," says a nearby neighbor.

The man went to check on his friend James Schoenherr, 63,  at 519 Sawyer Road.  Everything looked normal from the front of the home, but not when he went around back.

"I came over there and I found his door open and stuff and I called the police," says a neighbor.

That was around 5 p.m. Thursday. Rockford Police found Schoenherr in his bathtub with the water running and his hands tied behind his back. The coroner says he had marks on his body that looked like he had been in some kind of fight. The neighbor's had worried because Sunday someone tried to break into the victim's house.

"He fought them off. They just pepper sprayed him in the face to get in the house and then he hit them with a 2x4. And they took off that day," says a neighbor.

That situation and Schoenherr's death have the neighborhood worried. Sharon Carter's lived there for 50 years.  She says there has never been a murder nearby before.

"It's usually pretty calm. We're just like any other neighborhood we've got our problems but that, that really surprised me," says Carter.

An autopsy was done Friday but the cause of death is still inconclusive until the toxicology results come in.  But his death has been ruled a murder.

Since the 4th of July there have been a total of nine homicides in Rockford including this one. Six of them have been shooting, an elderly woman was beaten to death and a man was killed in a hit-and-run accident.



The Winnebago County Coroner has completed an autopsy on the 63-year-old man found dead in his home in the 500 block of Sawyer Road Thursday night.

James Schoenherr's body was found lying in the tub with his hands tied behind his back, with the water running. He had minor injuries consistent with a physical altercation. However, the cause of death is inconclusive pending additional testing.

He was pronounced dead at the scene at 6:19 p.m.

Rebecca Klopf will have a full report on 13 News at 5 & 6.

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