Arrest made in brutal murder of aspiring funeral director found stuffed in a closet the day after her 24th birthday

Police in Columbus, Ohio, have arrested a suspect in the murder of a young woman found dead in her apartment late last month.

Fox 8 Cleveland reports that Columbus Police announced in a press conference on Friday that Anthony Pardon, 53, has been charged with the January 29 murder of Rachael Anderson, who had turned 24 just the day before. Anderson reportedly died by asphyxiation and her body was found stuffed in a closet in her apartment after police responded to a wellness check.

Anderson, a former student at Youngstown College, worked at Shaw-Davis Funeral Home and aspired to become a funeral director herself.

In Friday’s press conference, Columbus Police Department Homicide Sgt. Stan Latta said that investigators noticed Anderson’s credit cards were being used after her death, and worked with the credit card companies and merchants to trace them to Pardon and his sister — who is not believed to have been involved in the murder. Sgt. Latta also said that DNA evidence was found at the scene tying Pardon to the murder, but declined to answer a reporter’s question about whether Anderson had been raped.

“We were able to conclude with certainty that Mr. Pardon is responsible for” Anderson’s death, Sgt. Latta said.

The police spokesperson said that Pardon’s girlfriend — also not implicated in the crime — lived near Anderson, and that the suspect and the victim had previously been in contact. Sgt. Latta declined to provide additional details about the nature of that contact and said that due to the ongoing investigation police were required to withhold some information from the public at this time.

A motive for the apparent murder is not yet known.

This is a developing story. CrimeOnline will provide further updates when more information becomes available.


[Feature image: Facebook/Rachael Anderson]