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Fri, Aug. 23

Details emerge in Stelmasek murder case

Laura Stelmasek, 45, of Prescott, the victim's wife, and Marzet Farris III, 46

Laura Stelmasek, 45, of Prescott, the victim's wife, and Marzet Farris III, 46

The two suspects in the murder of Prescott contractor Craig Stelmasek, 57, should be back in Arizona by the end of the week, said Lt. Andy Reinhardt, Prescott Police Department spokesman.

Stelmasek's body was found in a van at the Albuquerque International Sunport Airport on June 5, and nine days later the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force arrested Laura Stelmasek, 45, of Prescott, the victim's wife, and Marzet Farris III, 46, at Farris' home in Willow Spring, N.C., on felony warrants for suspicion of homicide.

"Extradition of Farris and (Laura) Stelmasek is occurring this week, and they will be back in the state possibly by Thursday or Friday to continue the court process," Reinhardt said.

According to the warrant, Stelmasek is charged with first-degree murder, abandonment or concealment of a dead body, and child abuse per domestic violence, which are all felony charges. Farris is charged with first-degree murder.

A report from the New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator in Albuquerque listed Craig Stelmasek's cause of death as numerous stab wounds to the neck and throat.

Blood evidence indicated he was killed in a bedroom at his home, and investigators also found blood at Farris' hotel room in town, Reinhardt said.

"There was a history of domestic violence at (the Stelmaseks') residence," Reinhardt said.

During one call, Craig Stelmasek told officers his wife was having an affair with Farris, Reinhardt said.

"Marzet had called police back in December telling them there was a domestic violence incident at the house," Reinhardt said.

"Because of that, detectives looked at him as an investigative lead in the case."

During the course of the investigation, detectives followed up on leads in Albuquerque and in Raleigh, N.C., said Sgt. Clayton Heath with the Prescott Police Department.

"We did obtain some flight information during the investigation that led detectives to the suspects in the case," Heath said.

Investigators also obtained a photo of Farris at the airport in Albuquerque, Reinhardt said.

The Stelmaseks' teenaged daughter told police that she last talked to her father on the phone on May 30, and that he wasn't home when she came back from vacation on June 3, Reinhardt said.

The teenager told officers that her mother said her father had left them. The next day, Laura sent her daughter a text message saying she was leaving and would be in touch, Reinhardt said.

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