WILKES-BARRE TWP. — Cindy Lou Ashton and Anthony Shaw met on a dating website about a year before he fatally stabbed her multiple times in the throat, a township police detective testified Tuesday.
With their relationship being estranged, Shaw, 42, of East Orange, N.J., traveled to Ashton’s Nicholson Street apartment May 1 to discuss their future, Det. Michael Anditis testified during Shaw’s preliminary hearing before District Judge Michael Dotzel.
The next day, May 2, Ashton’s body was found in a pool of blood when police went to the apartment after her co-workers became concerned when she failed to show for work at Mondelez Industries.
Detectives also found key evidence allegedly linking Shaw to the homicide.
Luzerne County Det. James Noone said Ashton’s blood was found on a Gerber folding knife recovered from Shaw’s apartment.
After nearly two hours of testimony, Dotzel determined assistant district attorneys Brian Coleman, Jill Sosnoski and David Marsh established a case against Shaw, sending an open count of criminal homicide to county court.
Shaw remains jailed without bail.
Shaw mostly kept his head down during the proceeding.
Anditis testified police Sgt. Thomas Elick responded to Ashton’s apartment in the afternoon of May 2 to conduct a welfare check when she didn’t appear for work. Elick was let inside the apartment by Ashton’s uncle, Tracy Ashton, and discovered her body in a bathroom.
Anditis said the investigation quickly centered on Shaw, who visited Ashton, 39, on May 1. Ashton was last seen alive by a friend who left her apartment at about 7 p.m. when Shaw walked inside, Anditis said.
Anditis said Ashton and Shaw met via the Internet about a year before she was killed.
Detectives learned from East Orange, N.J., police that Shaw was hospitalized at Rutgers University Hospital after a failed suicide attempt May 3.
Anditis said a note found in Shaw’s apartment apologized to Ashton’s family.
Anditis and Noone testified that a blood-soaked Kmart receipt and a receipt from a White Haven gas station were found in Shaw’s vehicle and apartment, which led detectives to surveillance cameras at those businesses.
Anditis said Kmart security cameras recorded Shaw purchasing a Gerber folding knife and a pack of socks, leaving the store near Ashton’s apartment at 6:44 p.m. May 1.
Shaw didn’t have any bandages on one of his hands when he was recorded in Kmart, but he had bandages on a hand at the service station in White Haven at 8 a.m., Anditis said.