By Matt Tobin Republican-American
WATERBURY — Police charged two women in the murder of 34-year-old city woman who worked with special needs children in what police say was a crime of opportunity.
Police said Shelly Stamp, of 143 Newbury St. in the city’s East End, died Oct. 29 following a robbery involving Heather Anderson, 35, of 103 Morning Mist Road, Naugatuck, and Shannon Gritzbach, 37, of 132 Whiting Street, Waterbury. Investigators determined that Stamp was injured during the robbery but said the cause of death was still under investigation Tuesday.
Police spokesman Lt. Ryan Bessette said the two suspects know each but it does not appear they knew the victim. “This appears to be a crime of opportunity.”
Both female suspects stole credit cards from Stamp before leaving the scene and made several purchases with the credit cards. The credit cards were used locally for multiple small transactions, police said.
Detectives obtained arrest warrants charging both Anderson and Gritzbach for the murder of Stamp along with additional offenses stemming from the incident. Anderson was arrested Nov. 3 with burglary, robbery and credit charges and charged additionally Monday with murder, home invasion and assault.
Gritzbach was arrested Monday and charged with murder, conspiracy to commit home invasion, first-degree robbery, first-degree assault, sixth-degree larceny, illegal use of credit cards, and first-degree burglary.
Bessette said officers responded to a medical assist complaint on Oct. 29 at 10:09 p.m. Officers found Stamp lying unresponsive on the floor of the apartment.
“Relatives and friends had not heard from Stamp and went to check on her,” Bessette said. “They went into the apartment and found her unresponsive and called for medical treatment. The victim was pronounced dead by emergency medical personnel before police arrived on scene.”
Waterbury Police Detective Bureau took over the investigation once Stamp was found, police said.
An autopsy was conducted by the state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner which indicated that further investigation was required regarding the cause of Stamp’s death.
Stamp graduated from Crosby High School and earned her associate degree from Naugatuck Valley Community College. At the time of her death she was employed as a paraprofessional for Waterbury Public Schools, working with children with special needs.
Anderson is in custody at York Correctional Instition in Niantic on a $1 million bond. Gritzbach was held by Waterbury police on a $1 million bond and was expected to be arraigned Tuesday.
Anderson has prior arrests including driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, larceny and violation of probation. Gritzbach has had multiple narcotics violations and a violation of probation.