A Weaver woman recently charged in a 30-year-old Indiana homicide was arraigned in court on Monday.

Barbara Brewster, 55, of Weaver, appeared before a St. Joseph County magistrate in Indiana on Monday and was ordered held without bond, according to a St. Joseph County prosecutor’s office spokeswoman. Brewster remains in the St. Joseph County Jail on a charge of murder in the decades-old case, which was reopened last year.

Weaver police Chief Wayne Bush said his department arrested Brewster on behalf of St. Joseph County on July 7 at a residence on Nina Drive.

“She was arrested without incident,” Bush said.

Bush said Brewster was placed in the Calhoun County Jail and remained there until she was extradited to Indiana on Saturday. Bush said he did not know how long Brewster had lived in Weaver.

Brewster and her former boyfriend, George Kearney, 77, of Indiana, were both charged in the 1988 death of Miriam Rice, wrote Jessica McBrier, director of media relations for the St. Joseph County prosecutor’s office, in an email to The Star on Monday.

“Murder charges were filed on July 6 ... probable cause was found and arrest warrants were ordered,” McBrier wrote.

Rice was 28 years old and about four months pregnant when she was found dead along the St. Joseph River in Indiana, according to St. Joseph County Superior Court records. Both Brewster and Kearney were camping in the area at the time of Rice’s death, records show.

Two of Brewster’s children, Paula Brooks and Robert South, recently talked with investigators about witnessing the crime. Brooks was 7 years old and South was 6 at the time Rice was killed.

Brewster has an initial hearing set on Aug. 7. Kearney has already had an initial hearing and has a Dec. 10 trial date set.

St. Joseph County lies along Indiana’s northern border. South Bend is the principal city.

 

 

 

Staff writer Patrick McCreless: 256-235-3561. On Twitter @PMcCreless_Star.

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