Nancy Pfister, a 57-year-old Aspen landlord and socialite, was reportedly murdered in a resort town in Colorado several weeks ago. A 65-year-old man and his 62-year-old wife were arrested for the killing. William F. Styler III and Nancy Christine Styler were detained at Aspenalt Lodge in Basalt, Colorado, without incident, by state police. Recently, however, a third suspect was arrested for the killing of Pfister.
Katherine M. Carpenter, 56, was arrested Friday by the Pitkin County Sheriff Department. She is currently held without bond on suspicion of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder. She is also the witness who some sources claim called the police after finding Pfister’s body.
Nancy Pfister was the daughter of Betty and Art Pfister, co-founders of the Buttermilk ski area, which is known to host the Winter X Games. Her body was found in a closet, according to the Feb. 26 police report, but the cause of death has yet to be determined.
Pfister had been on an extended trip to Australia when the events allegedly occurred soon after her return. She announced on her Facebook page that she would be looking for different renters to replace her current tenants due to their failure to pay rent and utilities. After her body was found, the tenants were questioned by investigators.
Information leading to the third arrest in the killing of the Aspen landlord has not been released by the sheriff’s department, but investigations are still ongoing. Pfister’s death is allegedly the first to have occurred in Pitkin County since October 2001.
The suspects were found staying at an Aspen lodge after moving out of Pfister’s home Feb. 22, the same day Pfister returned home from Australia. The Stylers are expected to be indicted soon, if not already, on official charges of conspiracy and first-degree murder.
The sheriff’s department says their office faced several difficulties during the investigation, with this being the first murder case in many years. Contending with interviews and procedures have been difficult due to a “cramped courtroom.”
In another report, the older couple charged in Pfister’s murder were claimed to have severe financial troubles for many years. They appeared in Pitken County court on Tuesday and faced initial charges in the murder of Pfister, a beloved resident. Pfister’s husband was seen in court in a wheelchair. The Stylers’ attorney, however, says the Stylers are “absolutely delightful people.”
Previously, the couple had been in a civil suit against a man who charged them over half a million dollars. Their attorney says out of all the clients he represented in malpractice suits, the Stylers are the only ones to have paid the full bill. He claims they are honest and ethical people, doing whatever it takes to avoid any legal trouble.
Juliana Pfister, the victim’s daughter, finds it hard to understand why someone would kill her mother over a rent dispute. She suspects there is more to the story than just retaliation for being kicked out of the house.
The autopsy reports are not complete, and all records in the case are currently sealed. The third arrest adds more questions to the story of who and what could have led to the killing of Pfister the Aspen landlord. The coming months might shed more light on her death as the investigation continues.
By Lindsey Alexander