crimesider

Third suspect arrested in murder of Aspen socialite

Kathy Carpenter Pitkin County Sheriff's Office

ASPEN, Colo. - A third person was arrested Friday in connection with the murder of Aspen, Colo. socialite Nancy Pfister.

Kathy Carpenter was taken into custody Friday night at her home in Aspen. The 56-year-old faces charges of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, police say. She is being held in the Pitkin County Jail without bond.

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Nancy Styler, left, and William Styler III
Pitkin County Sheriff's Office via CBS Denver
Carpenter's arrest comes over a week after the arrests of William F. Styler III, 65, and Nancy Styler, 62. The couple was taken into custody March 3 at a lodge in Basalt. They were staying at the lodge after apparently moving out of Pfister's home Feb. 22, the same day Pfister returned home from a vacation in Australia, authorities said. The Stylers, who are married, are expected to be formally charged Monday with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.

Authorities said the Stylers rented Pfister's home during the fall but sources tell CBS Denver that the Stylers had more than just a landlord-tenant relationship with the victim. They reportedly had been planning to open a spa together.

Pfister's body was found in an upstairs closet at her Aspen home on Feb. 26, four days after she had returned home from Australia. Investigators have not said when or how she was killed but sources close to the investigation tell CBS Denver that she was beaten to death.

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Nancy Pfister
CBS Denver

The Aspen Daily News reports Carpenter was the one who called police to say she had found Pfister's body. According to the paper, Carpenter was a friend of Pfister. Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo described Carpenter as the "go-between on rent collection and management of the home" while Pfister was out of the country, reports the paper.

While authorities have not named a possible motive in Pfister's death, Pfister posted on Facebook a month before she was found dead that the people renting her house - the Stylers - were failing to pay rent and utilities and said she was looking for new tenants.

Authorities said Saturday that the investigation into Pfister's death is ongoing.

Pfister was the daughter of the late Betty and Art Pfister, longtime prominent Aspen residents who co-founded the Buttermilk ski area west of town. Buttermilk Mountain has hosted the Winter X Games multiple times.

  • Stephanie Slifer

    Stephanie Slifer covers crime and justice for CBSNews.com.

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