GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. (CBS4) – The suspects in the first murder case in the mountain town of Aspen in more than a decade used to live in the Denver metro area and were known for their extensive garden.
William F. Styler III, 65, and Nancy Christine Styler, 62, appeared in Pitken County court on Tuesday and face first degree murder and conspiracy charges. They are accused of killing the woman whose home they had been renting. Nancy Pfister, 57, was a popular member of the Aspen community and was found dead in her home last week.
The Stylers lived in Greenwood Village for much of their lives and were known as kind, generous neighbors. They moved to Castle Rock for a short time and then recently moved to Aspen.
“I would laugh to think that that’s what they were involved in. They can’t be,” said Ned Ingham, their former neighbor in Greenwood Village. “I am totally floored. It would the last thing I’d ever think.”
Ingham said he lived next to the Stylers for 25 years and said they had a very impressive garden.
“They would have people from all over the world over there. They were known famously for their flowers,” he said.
William Styler, who appeared in court on Tuesday in a wheelchair, was an anesthesiologist who was profiled in a Rocky Mountain News article in which he talked about always trying to nurture and comfort his patients.
Another former neighbor CBS4 talked to described the Stylers as “fantastic neighbors” on Tuesday. She said Nancy Styler was a master gardener.
“They even had a program with the local elementary school where they had kids out to see their lily pond,” she said.
“They seemed like very good people.”
Police aren’t releasing many details about how Pfister was murdered and haven’t ruled out the possibility of more arrests in the case.
Before her death, Pfister posted on her Facebook page that the Stylers hadn’t been paying their rent or utility bills while she was away in Australia.
“Nancy was a friend of mine, and I thought she was a good person. She was very well loved in the community,” Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo said on Tuesday.
Pfister’s daughter Juliana told ABC in an interview on Tuesday she can’t understand how a dispute over rent could make someone angry enough to commit a murder.
The Stylers are being held in jail without bond.