Columbus man accused of raping and killing Warren woman could get death penalty

Staff report


Anthony J. Pardon was indicted Thursday in the death of Warren native Rachael Anderson.

Pardon, 53, was indicted in Franklin County Common Pleas Court on aggravated murder and other charges, including death-penalty specifications. Anderson, 24, was a 2012 Warren G. Harding High School graduate who worked at Macali Giant Eagle in Niles during high school, then earned a bachelor’s degree in 2016 in mortuary science at the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science, according to her obituary.

She was working at a Columbus funeral home at the time of her death and was buried in Pineview Memorial Park in Warren on Feb. 6.

Columbus police arrested Pardon after linking him to Anderson’s death through DNA evidence and a credit card belonging to Anderson that had been used after she had been killed in her Columbus apartment.

Her body was found Jan. 29 in her closet after co-workers went looking for her when she didn’t arrive for work. Police said she died of asphyxiation.

Sgt. Stan Latta of the Columbus Police Department asserted Thursday during a news conference that it is “with certainty” that police say that Pardon is Anderson’s killer.

Latta said Pardon also used Anderson’s vehicle after killing her. A Columbus television station says Pardon is also indicted on aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, kidnapping and rape.

Police still are investigating whether Pardon might have also committed other crimes between his 2006 release from prison and Anderson’s killing. Pardon spent 24 years in prison for his 1981 crimes.

Pardon pleaded guilty in 1982 in Franklin County to attempted murder, aggravated assault and rape, according to Franklin County court records and a 2013 Georgia appeals court ruling.

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