WILKES-BARRE TWP. — A woman found dead inside an apartment on Nicholson Street died from multiple stab wounds, according to the Luzerne County Coroner’s Office.
Coroner William Lisman identified the victim as 39-year-old Cindy Lou Ashton, and he ruled the cause of death a homicide.
Ashton was found in a bathroom with stab wounds to her neck, court records show.
Forensic pathologist Dr. Gary Ross performed an autopsy Thursday.
Ashton’s name appears in search warrants obtained by investigators to analyze a LG smartphone and to review phone calls, contact information, text messages, voicemails, emails and social media applications. The phone was found on a bedroom dresser.
The number for the smartphone is linked to Mondelez International Inc., where Ashton’s LinkedIn profile says she worked as a retail manager.
The profile says she worked for Mondelez in East Hanover, N.J. Mondelez also has an office building in Hanover Industrial Estates, Hanover Township.
Wilkes-Barre Township Police Chief Ron Smith said Ashton’s vehicle was found parked on Ketchum Street, about a block from the apartment building.
Smith said detectives are actively investigating the case along with state police.
District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis said in a news release that investigators do not believe the incident was a random act. She noted while citizens should always be vigilant, there has been no evidence of a threat to the general public.
According to the warrant affidavits:
A township police sergeant responded to 134 Nicholson St., a four-unit apartment building, to conduct a welfare check. The police official entered the building through an unlocked community access area in the basement with Ashton’s uncle, Tracy McCoy.
McCoy allowed the officer to enter Apartment 4 where Ashton’s body was found in a bathroom with stab wounds to her neck.
No charges have been filed.
Property records list Ashton as the owner of the apartment building, which she purchased in 2015. Her address on property records is listed as Mount Vernon Place, Newark, N.J.
Township detectives and state police were at the crime scene for most of Thursday.