The Nancy Pfister murder case took a shocking twist this weekend when the slain socialite’s highly trusted assistant, who reported discovering Pfister’s body stuffed into a closet in her mountainside chalet on February 26, was arrested in connection with her death.
Kathy Carpenter was set appear Monday in Pitkin County District Court, along with two other suspects who were renting the chalet from Nancy Pfister, who was traveling in Australia. While Pfister was abroad, she posted complaints about her tenants, William F. Styler III, 65, and 62-year-old Nancy Christine Styler, on her Facebook wall.
“I’d like to stay in Australia,” Nancy Pfister, 57, wrote on January 24, “but the people that were supposedly taking care of my house are not doing what they said they would do and they’re not paying rent and they haven’t paid utilities.”
Pfister, the daughter of Buttermilk Ski resort founders Betty and Art Pfister, returned to Aspen, Colorado, February 22. Four days later, Carpenter reported finding her dead.
Five days after that, Pitkin County Sheriff’s deputies arrested the Stylers, a married couple. They will face formal charges Monday in court, while Carpenter faces an advisement on her case.
The Stylers themselves were also well-known in the area. William Styler was a respected anesthesiologist while his wife founded Victoria Conservancy, which grew and sold water lilies.
Investigators have not specified a cause of death for Nancy Pfister and have not released any other details on the homicide investigation, the first murder case in Pitkin County for 12 years. But they have said the Nancy Pfister case, despite the three arrests, remains an open investigation and they have not ruled out the possibility of even more arrests.
The Stylers were thought to be facing first-degree murder and conspiracy charges when they appeared in court Monday.
The arrest of Kathy Carpenter, however, was a stunning development in the case. It was Carpenter whom Nancy Pfister trusted to show her home to new, prospective tenants while she was abroad, and to take care of her eight-month-old puppy.
At one point, from Australia, Nancy Pfister posted on Facebook, “Its kathys birthday today if u know her, give her a shout out!!!”
According to public records examined by The Aspen Times, the 56-year-old Carpenter filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 1999 and has moved around among several Colorado towns.
Nonetheless, her arrest in the Nancy Pfister case came as a shock to those who know her.
“I would have bet the farm that she didn’t do it,” one of her customers at Alpine Bank where Carpenter was employed, told the local paper.
Investigators in the Nancy Pfister case were scheduled to hold a press conference following Carpenter’s afternoon court appearance, but whether more details on the case were forthcoming was not clear in advance.
Image: Nancy Pfister Facebook
Second Image: Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office