Nancy Pfister Murder: Couple Faces Charges in Socialite's Death

Wednesday, 05 Mar 2014 01:29 PM

By Ken Mandel

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A husband and wife are facing murder charges in the death of socialite Nancy Pfister, who was found in a closet of her Colorado home last month.

Authorities arrested William Styler III, 65, and Nancy Styler, 62, at the Aspenalt Lodge in Basalt, Colo., where they had been staying after allegedly vacating Pfister's home on Feb. 22, according to CBS News affiliate KREX.

Pfister was found dead by a friend Feb. 26, four days after she returned from an Australian vacation. A cause of death hasn't been released. 

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The Stylers are charged with first-degree murder and are being held without bond, according to KREX. Pfister's death is the first homicide in Pitkin County in 12 years.

Pfister, 57, was the daughter of the late Betty and Art Pfister, who co-founded the nearby Buttermilk ski area. The site has hosted the Winter X Games multiple times.

Sheriff Joe DiSalvo told The Associated Press that the investigation is ongoing and didn't rule out the possibility of more arrests. He said the Stylers were questioned early, but police didn't have enough probable cause for an arrest.

"This case has been hard from the beginning on all of us, because of the nature of it," DiSalvo told the AP. "First-degree murders don't happen here too often." 

The Aspen Daily News reported the Stylers were once a wealthy couple, according to photographer Povy Kendal Atchison, who knew the couple in the early 2000s. William Styler suffered a debilitating illness that forced him to stop working as an anesthesiologist, Atchison said. 

They "weren't horrible people — they were just off," Atchison said.

Public Defender Sara Steele raised the possibility of mental illness at the couple's advisement hearing on Tuesday, where they were informed they were being charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

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