A woman found dead in her burning Charlotte apartment in June had been strangled, according to an autopsy report, WSOC says.
The report said the mouth of Amanda Strous, 27, was covered with duct tape that emergency crews removed, the television station reported. It said Strous suffered burns and blunt force trauma.
A man who lived above Strous’ apartment, Mathew Thomas Benner, 28, has been charged with her murder.
Search warrants said witnesses saw Benner blocking the door to her burning apartment with blood on his legs. Detectives interviewed multiple witnesses who said they heard a woman screaming before fire alarms sounded, the warrants said.
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Police seized swabs, matches, lighter fluid, cellphones, fibers and a smoke detector from Strous’ apartment. They took matches, lighters, gloves, firearms and ammunition from Benner’s apartment.
Benner was charged after investigators tracked his cellphone to Pahrump, Nev., about 60 miles east of Las Vegas.
Strous, a counselor at Central Piedmont Community College’s Harper Campus, was engaged to be married on July 20.