Authorities Make Arrests In Elmore County Shooting

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By Lisa Blackwell

Authorities make arrests in the shooting death of a young Elmore county woman.

The sheriff says one of the suspects confessed to stalking and killing Anna Cardwell .

It’s a crime that rocked the quiet rural community of Holtsville.

A young woman gunned down in her own home.

Authorities say the killer staked out the property on three separate days before he committed cold blooded murder.

Elmore County Sheriff Bill Franklin says he believes twenty two year old Josh Caspari planned the murder of twenty year old Anna Cardwell. Franklin says he was angry because she persuaded her friend not to date him.

“His quote in quote words were he was flat out love sick over one of her friends and was having a hard time dealing with that fact that he wasn’t any longer with her,” said Franklin

Franklin says Caspari told investigators that armed with a gas can, a knife and a gun, he got twenty two year old Cody Abernathy to drop him off near Cardwell’s house Friday February 10th.

He staked out Cardwell’s home from a wooded area and a ditch near the house but left.

On Monday, he got a girl to drop him off near Cardwell’s where he again surveyed the house.

On Wednesday, he got Abernathy to drive him back to the area.

He watched Cardwell’s house until her mother left at 9 a.m.

Then he went to the front door and rang the bell.

Officials say a sleepy Cardwell opened the door and let Caspari inside.

Authorities say they argued and then Caspari chased her down the hall shooting her three times in the shoulder and the back.

“Miss Cardwell ran through the kitchen near a back door and Mr Caspari was able to catch up with her at the back door, did not allow her to leave pulled her back toward the kitchen area and we believe the evidence is going to show the last gunshot was to the back of the head.,” said Franklin.

Franklin says Caspari then took Cardwell’s keys and drove her car to the Winn Dixie in Wetumpka. That's where officials say he left the car, called his mother and had her pick him up at the McDonald’s next door.

Authorities say the girl who dropped Caspari off Monday didn’t know what he was up to but called them after she heard about the murder.

Franklin credits her with helping break the case.

Franklin asked Caspari what he would have done if Anna’s mother would have been home.

“His quote on quote response was well she’d probably be, no I correct that, I probably would have killed her too,” said Franklin.

Franklin says they searched Caspari’s place and found bloody clothing, stolen weapons, illegal steroids and over twenty thousand dollars in cash.

Caspari is charged with murder. Abernathy is charged with hindering prosecution. Sheriff Franklin says the two could face additional charges.

Cardwell was a student at Southern Union and a graduate of Holtsville high school.

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