According to a police affidavit, on May 2nd at approximately 5:47pm, Sergeant Thomas Elick of the Wilkes-Barre Township Police Department was dispatched to 134 Nicholson Street Apartment #4, Wilkes-Barre Township to conduct a welfare check on Cindy Lou Ashton. Sergeant Elick entered the building through the basement of the apartment building with assistance from a family member, Tracy McCoy.
Officers entered apartment #4 where Ashton lived. Ashton was found deceased in the bathroom with multiple apparent stab wounds and a large quantity of blood. Ashton was known to park her vehicle, a black 2017 Infinity Q50, in a garage to the rear of the building.
The vehicle was not inside of the garage. After reviewing surveillance video from the area, investigators determined the vehicle was moved between the hours of 7pm May 1st and 8:30am May 2nd.
The vehicle was located at approximately 9:45pm on Ketchum Street in Wilkes-Barre Township by Wilkes-Barre Township Police. In an attempt to determine how Ashton's vehicle ended up on Ketchum Street, investigators reviewed surveillance footage, confirming that the vehicle was parked near 8 Ketchum Street at approximately 5am on May 2nd.
The video showed the vehicle being parked and a male exiting the driver side, look around, and then get back in and drive away. Approximately two minutes later the vehicle is observed being parked in the area of 39 Ketchum Street, where the vehicle was located later by Police.
The investigation identified 41 year old Anthony Shaw as being in a relationship with Ashton. Shaw was last seen with Ashton on May 1st at approximately 7pm. Investigators were unable to immediately locate Shaw or his vehicle. On May 3rd Dr. Gary Ross, Forensic Pathologist, performed an autopsy on Ashton. The cause of death was determined to be multiple stab wounds and the manner of death was determined to be homicide.
On May 4th Investigators learned that Shaw attempted suicide in his apartment at 74 South Munn Avenue, East Orange, New Jersey on May 3rd. Investigators learned that the East Orange Police seized evidence from Shaw's attempted suicide. Collected was a Gerber folding knife and a handwritten note in a burgundy notebook. The knife had what appeared to be blood and hair on it.
The knife was delivered to the Pennsylvania State Police Laboratory in Wyoming for analysis and testing. On May 4th Investigators obtained a search warrant for Shaw's silver Mercury Sable and his apartment in East Orange.
On May 5th investigators traveled to the Rutger's University Hospital where Shaw was located after being treated for multiple self-inflicted stab wounds and cuts. Shaw was conscious and aware of his surroundings when investigators read him his Miranda warnings and he agreed to speak with them regarding the nature of his injuries and the circumstances surrounding Ashton's death.
Shaw stated to investigators that on May 1st at approximately noon he travelled to Ashton's residence to "discuss his relationship" with her. The two came to an agreement to continue to be friends with benefits according to Shaw who stated he remained at Ashton's residence until approximately 7:30pm on May 2nd.
Video surveillance showed that Shaw left the area of Ashton's residence in his vehicle are approximately 7:48am may 2nd. Shaw's suicide note, which Shaw stated to investigators was in his handwriting but he did not remember writing read as follows:
"To the Ashton Family I hope your hurt is big enough to forgive me. I was a down person and Cindy pushed me down more. This doesn't justify my actions I'm so sorry!"
Shaw told investigators that he and Ashton were at her residence the entire evening from May 1st into May 2nd and that they never left.
According to Shaw, he and Ashton were the only ones in the apartment and nobody was there after Ashton's aunt, Cheryl McCoy, left at approximately 7pm on May 1st when Shaw arrived.
When asked if he saw Ashton when he left, Shaw stated "No, she has a routine and would go to the gym around 6am and then go straight to work."
Shaw stated that he believed he used the bathroom before leaving Ashton's residence before leaving when asked by investigators.
Shaw told investigators that the reason for the apology in his letter was because he and Ashton broke up.
On May 5th, Investigators with the assistance of the East Orange Police Department conducted a search of Shaw's residence.
Investigators found substantial amounts of blood throughout the apartment, including the bathroom and bedroom.
Several items were seized including a receipt from a gas station in White Haven which indicated that Shaw made a $30 purchase of gasoline at approximately 8:10am on May 2nd.
Video surveillance from the gas station showed Shaw getting gas at that time on his way to New Jersey from Wilkes-Barre Township.
Shaw was in his vehicle, paid using a bank card inside, and filled up the car. While in his car, Shaw is seen on his cell phone with a large white bandage on his left thumb which he attempted to conceal while inside of the gas station while a police officer is seen inside the station with him on the footage.
Investigators viewed surveillance video from Shaw's apartment building on May 5th. Shaw was shown walking into the lobby wearing black sneakers, a long sleeve grey shirt, and grey jogging pants. Shaw was also shown carrying a grey hand bag which was seized during the search of his apartment.
The bag contained multiple items, including a pair of socks with suspected blood on them and a house key with a teddy bear Keychain displaying the number 4 on the bear. Investigators also seized black Nike sneakers which had suspected blood on them. These items were in addition to the Gerber knife and handwritten note previously recovered.
On May 11th investigators searched Shaw's vehicle. Pennsylvania State Trooper Kittle recovered several pieces of evidence including a Kmart receipt with suspected blood on it showing a purchase of a Gerber folding knife and a pair of socks matching the brand found in Shaw's hand bag. The packaging for a Gerber folding knife was also found under the seat of the vehicle.
On May 11th investigators went to the Kmart in Wilkes-Barre Township and obtained video surveillance from May 1st which showed Shaw entering the store at 5:17pm. Shaw was seeing in the sporting goods section where he had a four piece Hampton Forge knife set in his hand, however Shaw set down the Hampton Forge set and took a Gerber folding knife off of a shelf. Shaw proceeded to the checkout counter and purchased the Gerber knife and socks using his Visa bank card. Shaw's left thumb was not bandaged in the Kmart videos.
On May 17th Dr. Gary Ross was shown photographs of the Gerber knife recovered from Shaw's residence. Dr Ross concluded that the knife in the photos was compatible with the sustained stab and cut wounds that he identified on Ashton's body during autopsy.
On May 21st investigators determined that the key found in Shaw's handbag opens the doors to Ashton's apartment.
Shaw was arrested at the hospital in New Jersey yesterday after a warrant was issued for his arrest.
Court documents from yesterday allege that Shaw violently stabbed Ashton in the throat during a breakup.
Shaw awaits extradition to Pennsylvania in relation to the murder.
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