Pitkin County murder case marks day four with no arrest
Ryan Summerlin March 3, 2014
The investigation into the murder of Aspen native Nancy Pfister marked its fourth day on Sunday evening without an arrest in connection with her death.
“We are still working on all leads,” Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo said Sunday night. “This continues to be the highest priority for my office. We are continuing to develop evidence. We are working on it, and we will remain diligent.”
DiSalvo declined comment on whether his office has a suspect, or suspects, in the case. He offered no other details.
There appeared to be a new development in the case on Sunday. Shortly before 4 p.m., Pitkin County Deputy Grant Jahnke and Garfield County Sheriff’s Office investigators Lee Damuth and Rob Glassmire, acting on a search warrant, took contents from an Alpine Bank employee-housing unit at the Christiana Lodge in Aspen.
From Friday through Sunday, patrol vehicles from either the Aspen Police Department or the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office were stationed at the lodge, located at Main and Fifth streets in Aspen. A source confirmed that the unit was being rented by an Alpine Bank employee whom Pfister mentioned in a Feb. 6 posting on Facebook.
In that post, Pfister wrote that she wanted to temporarily rent out her house off of West Buttermilk Road for $4,000 per month because she was planning a trip in the spring. She relayed an email address of the bank employee for anyone who might be interested. Pfister wrote that the bank employee assists with her tenants, picking up monthly rent and depositing it on her behalf.
Pfister, whose body was discovered Wednesday evening inside her house, was the daughter of prominent Aspenites Art and Betty Pfister, who preceded her in death. She was 57.
Pfister returned from a vacation in Australia on Feb. 22, according to DiSalvo. Authorities have not provided any information about the manner in which they believe she was killed.
There is widespread discussion in the community that she was the victim of blunt-force trauma and that her body was left in a closet at her house. DiSalvo would not confirm that. He said an autopsy was conducted in Grand Junction on Thursday. The findings have yet to be made public.
A Colorado Bureau of Investigation vehicle with forensics equipment arrived at Pfister’s home Thursday afternoon to assist the Sheriff’s Office with the investigation. Other agencies assisting the case include the Aspen and Basalt police departments, the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office and the 9th Judicial District.
The Aspenalt Lodge in Basalt seemed to have a role early in the investigation. On Thursday, at about 7 a.m., three Pitkin County patrol vehicles departed the lodge, but other sheriff’s deputies stayed behind, guarding two rooms. In addition to the deputies, a CBI agent was present at the lodge.
A few minutes later, a tow truck was called to the scene, and it hauled away a passenger car from the parking lot. Deputies took two people away from the motel for questioning on Thursday, but they were not officially in custody, DiSalvo said.
Visit www.aspentimes.com on Monday for possible updates on the story.