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Agnes Bratsch

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The elderly woman wasn't well-known in the neighborhood where she lived, but one neighbor who knew her years ago said she was a quiet, private woman, and the couple always seemed friendly.

Agnes Bratsch, 76, was found dead in her Millstadt home about 1 p.m. Monday, according to St. Clair County Coroner Rick Stone.

"I'd see her in the yard, or him, and say hello," neighbor Lawrence Osick said. "They were very quiet people who mostly kept to themselves. In a small town you probably don't stop in and visit your neighbors as much as you probably should, so I really didn't know them very well."

Most neighbors questioned Tuesday didn't know the couple, and if they did, they said it was by sight only. Because the home is on the main road through Millstadt, most of the buildings around the Bratsch home were businesses. No one in the businesses knew the victim or her husband personally.

Osick said Agnes Bratsch shopped in his IGA grocery store many years ago and he remembered her as a quiet, polite woman.

"But that was when she was married to her first husband," he said.

An autopsy was performed Tuesday and found Bratsch died of blunt trauma to the head, Stone said.

Her husband was arrested after the body of Agnes Bratsch was found, but hasn't been charged with a crime so police are not releasing the man's name. He was found in the home at 108 W. Washington by a relative in what appears to be a murder and attempted suicide, according to Millstadt Police Lt. Alan Hucke.

Hucke said the man's injuries were "nonlife-threatening, very minor in nature, since he was only in the hospital for a couple of hours and then released."

The husband was treated at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Belleville and released Monday evening. He remains in custody at the St. Clair County Jail.

Published in Belleville News-Democrat on June 13, 2007
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