Person of interest in custody in VCU administrator’s death

Woman found face down in tub near knife

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Richmond police have taken a person of interest into custody in the May 9 death of a longtime VCU administrator.

The woman was identified as 53-year-old Suzanne A. Fairman.

Officers were conducting a welfare check just after 11 p.m. at the home off the 7400 block of Tanglewood Road, when they discovered her body. Court records say Fairman had been traveling to Florida, but never arrived.

According to an affidavit, Fairman was found face down in the bathtub with the water running. A knife with blood was visible on the counter. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said a man is in custody and will be held until formal charges are filed. His identity was not released.

The possible offense listed for the search warrant is murder. The medical examiner’s office confirmed Fairman’s cause of death was asphyxiation and the manner of death was a homicide.

(Source: Family)
(Source: Family)

The search warrant lists a knife, gloves, bandanna, cord, swabs of red stains, tablets and bedding as evidence taken from the house.

(Source: NBC12)
(Source: NBC12)
(Source: NBC12)

"It doesn’t do her justice to not be strong for her,” said Scott Fairman, the victim’s only son. “She was the most positive and inspirational person I knew, who impacted the lives of anybody she met.”

Fairman worked as an administrator in VCU’s Provost Office for the past 13 years. Scott says the response from her coworkers was overwhelming.

“The Richmond Police Department has been more than phenomenal,” said Scott, as detectives are still asking community members to come forward if they have any tips on the case. “We need any information at all... no matter how minute it may be."

“After speaking with family members, detectives hope providing a photo of Ms. Fairman will prompt people to come forward with any information they may have on this case.” said Major Crimes Captain James Laino in a release. “Any information, no matter how small the detail may be, could assist in solving this case.”

Anyone with information is asked to call Major Crimes Detective J. Baynes at 804-646-3617 or Crime Stoppers at 804-780-1000.

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