A 20-year-old security guard allegedly stabbed a woman to death earlier this week at the New Hampshire headquarters of the outdoors wear giant.
Robert Pavao, of Berwick Maine, is facing charges stemming from Sunday’s alleged attack in Stratham. He waived arraignment Monday and entered pleas of not guilty to two counts of second-degree murder, the New Hampshire Union Leader reports.
He is being held without bail at the Rockingham County Jail.
On Tuesday, the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office identified the woman killed as Catherine Heppner, 46, of Exeter, New Hampshire.
Here’s what we know about the case:
What authorities say happened
Around 4:30 p.m. Sunday, police responded to a 911 call reporting a stabbing at 200 Domain Drive, according to Seacoastonline.com.
There, they found a woman’s body — later identified as Heppner — inside the building, the news outlet reports.
On Monday, the attorney general’s office said in a statement that authorities had arrested Pavao for second-degree murder in connection to what authorities initially described as a “suspicious death.”
He was charged with “one count of second-degree murder for knowingly causing the death of an adult female by assaulting her, and one count of second-degree murder for recklessly causing the death of an adult female under circumstances manifesting an extreme indifference to the value of human life by assaulting her,” the statement says.
On Tuesday, following an autopsy, officials announced state Associate Medical Examiner Christine James determined the cause of Heppner’s death was stab wounds, and that the manner of her death is homicide.
“The investigation into Ms. Heppner’s death remains active and ongoing,” the attorney general’s office said.
What we know about the suspect
An Assessment Interview Report from the Rockingham County Department of Corrections shows Pavao was a security guard employed by Securitas for the last four months, and provided services at Timberland and nearby Lindt & Sprungli, the Union Leader reports.
That report also stated that Pavo does not have a criminal history, nor does he have a history of mental health issues or substance abuse, according to the newspaper.
Pavao and Heppner did not know each other, the report says.
UPDATE: Timberland security guard Robert Pavao has waived arraignment and entered not guilty pleas to second-degree murder charges in the death of a female employee. He will remain held without bail at the Rockingham County jail. @UnionLeader pic.twitter.com/H4bet0IfvS
— Jason Schreiber (@Schreibernews) February 10, 2020
What we know about the victim
In a statement to WMUR, Heppner’s family described her as a “wonderful wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, and colleague.”
“We are devastated and stunned by the tragic loss of our beloved Cassie,” the statement says. “She was the energetic light of our family, with an infectious spirit that touched anyone in her presence … We will cherish her forever. We ask that you respect our privacy during this extremely difficult time.”
Heppner was employed at Timberland for the last five years as the director of marketing, Seacoastonline.com reports.
The company, in a statement to the outlet, called Heppner “a beloved member of the Timberland community” who was lost to “a senseless act of violence.”
“Cassie was truly one-of-a-kind, and her passing leaves a void that will never be filled,” Leslie Grundy, a spokeswoman, said in the statement. “We extend our deepest condolences to her family and loved ones, and ask that you please respect the family’s request for privacy during this difficult time.”