Coroner: Aspen socialite killed by blunt force to head

Nancy Pfister

CBS Denver

ASPEN, Colo. - A coroner says blunt force injury to the head killed Aspen socialite Nancy Pfister, who was found dead in her home in the Colorado resort town.

Pitkin County coroner J. Steven Ayers said Wednesday that Pfister, 57, was hit with a hard object that had a small, curved shape and had been dead about 36 hours before her body was found on Feb. 26.

William Styler, 65, and Nancy Styler, 62, a couple who rented Pfister's home while she was in Australia, have been charged in her death. Katherine Carpenter, 56, a friend of Pfister, has also been charged.

Investigators have said Carpenter called police to report finding Pfister's body in a closet but declined to release any information about how she died.

The arrest warrant and other documents have been sealed. The coroner's office isn't affected by that court order.

Pfister had returned home from Australia on Feb. 22 and the Stylers moved out of her home on the same day.

Authorities have not named a possible motive in Pfister's death, however she posted on Facebook a month before she was found dead that the people renting her home - the Stylers - were failing to pay rent and utilities.

Carpenter was the "go-between on rent collection and management of the home" while Pfister was in Australia, Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo has previously told the Aspen Daily News.

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.

All three suspects in Pfister's death are being held without bond.