VIDEO: $5 million bond for suspect after college student tortured, smothered to death
COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKBN) – Police revealed that Warren native Rachael Anderson had been tortured, smothered to death and left in a closet.
On Friday, they arrested the man they claim is responsible, saying they tracked him down through help from neighbors, DNA evidence and the victim’s debit card.
Police linked 53-year-old Anthony Pardon to Anderson’s death. He’s being held on $5 million bond.
Six months ago, a letter went out in a Columbus-area neighborhood warning about three registered sex offenders living nearby. Pardon was one of them.
He’s not a stranger to violent crime. In 1982, Pardon pleaded guilty to rape, aggravated robbery and attempted murder. He tried to drown his victim in a creek, but she survived.
Pardon went to prison for 25 years and got out in 2006. Now he is charged with the Rachael Anderson murder — death by asphyxiation.
“We’ve not been able to link him to any other crimes in any other locations, but it is still one of the things we’re looking at,” said Sgt. Stan Latta, with the Columbus Division of Police.
The aspiring funeral director turned 24 on Sunday, January 28. She attended Youngstown State University.
Police say she talked with people Sunday night — then in a window of less than 10 hours she was killed — but tortured first.
“I don’t think I want to go into exactly what the torture consisted of, but it was a violent death,” Latta said.
Her bank card and car were taken.
“Her credit cards started to be used shortly thereafter. We were made aware of that,” Latta said.
Police found and interviewed the person using the card.
“Between that and some DNA evidence that came back to Mr. Pardon, we were able to conclude with certainty that Anthony James Pardon was responsible for her death,” Latta said.
Anderson worked at the Shaw-Davis Funeral Home in Columbus.
Records show Anderson graduated from Warren G. Harding High School. She attended YSU, where she made the Dean’s List in 2015 and majored in prerequisites for mortuary science, according to the university’s website.
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