The Pitkin County Sheriff’s office has made two arrests in the investigation into the death of Aspen native Nancy Pfister. An older couple originally from a Front Range community are being charged with murder. They're being held without bond.
William and Nancy Styler, were taken into custody on Monday, March 3rd at about 5pm. They’re charged with first degree murder and conspiracy to commit first degree murder. At a press conference less than an hour after their arrest, Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo said work on the case isn’t over yet for his office.
“I will continue to lend all my resources, around the clock, to the District Attorney’s office, in hope of a successful prosecution, which is the next phase. I’m going to take that very seriously, and not do anything to jeopardize any future prosecutions.”
And with that resolve, Sheriff DiSalvo revealed very few details about the two people arrested. He couldn’t say the manner of Pfister’s death, when or where it happened, or whether the suspects have confessed. There are a few details that are safe to share. DiSalvo says law enforcement originally contacted William and Nancy Styler soon after Pfister’s body was found. The couple, who are in their sixties, were at the Aspenalt Lodge in Basalt. And that’s when the Stylers were first questioned.
“From what we believe through investigation, they’re former residents of Castle Rock or that community, and we believe they got here sometime in the late fall.”
Reporter: “Can you confirm that they were tenants?”
DiSalvo: “I can. They were tenants of Ms. Pfister starting at-- end of November, possibly the beginning of December.”
Reporter: “Can you confirm they moved out Saturday?”
DiSalvo: “Not going to go there.”
The Stylers were renting Pfister’s home in West Buttermilk. She was was found dead there on Wednesday, February 26th. During Monday's press conference, Sheriff DiSalvo was emotional at times. “This case been hard from the beginning for all of us, because of the nature of it. First degree murders don’t happen here too often. That’s good. When they do, we take it very seriously.”
DiSalvo thanked his team for working around the clock. A Colorado Bureau of Investigation team has played an invaluable role with the case… handling DNA, interviews, and other key factors. The CBI unit also helped the Sheriff’s office deal with aging county facilities that have made it tricky to make progress with the case. Agent in Charge Collin Reese is with the CBI unit out of Grand Junction… and he says they’ll continue to help. “I don’t want to say too much about it, it’s an ongoing investigation and will be for sometime, but we will continue to provide any kind of assistance that the Sheriff’s office needs.”
The Aspen and Basalt Police departments have also been involved in the investigation, as well as Garfield County. Deputy District Attorney Andrea Bryan thanked the wide array of law enforcement for their work on the case, and promised to continue their dedication. “Our office is going to be making it the highest priority to ensure a fair and successful prosecution.” Bryan says the arrested couple are being held without bail, and a judge will likely decide today whether to continue doing that.
Nancy Pfister grew up in Aspen and is known by many in the community. Sheriff DiSalvo says that with the recent arrests, Pfister’s family can now start moving forward. “I just talked to Nancy’s daughter, they had a tough day, they cremated Nancy. But I’m glad they had -- at least, their closure door has moved an inch closer.”