LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – A second suspect has been arrested in the murder of Lancaster County elementary school teacher Nicole Mathewson.
Police announced the arrest early Wednesday after a “tireless” search for the alleged accomplice.
They identified the suspect as 25-year-old Thomas Moore of Lancaster.
Police said Moore was arrested around 8 p.m. Tuesday at an apartment on the 700 block of Sterling Place in Lancaster Township. He is charged with criminal homicide, burglary, robbery, receiving stolen property and access device fraud.
“I have been doing this for 15 years now and there are only a few times when I’ve been as disturbed as much as I am from what I’ve seen in this case. I don’t want to get into the specifics,” Lancaster County First Assistant District Attorney Christopher P. Larsen said.
On Tuesday, police announced the arrest of 16-year-old Marcus Rutter. They said he confessed to the crime and said he did not act alone.
Rutter was arrested after police received an anonymous tip.
“This is exactly how a homicide investigation gets concluded quickly, when somebody out there gets some information from what was already put out and makes the conscientious decision to contact the police,” Lancaster Police Chief Keith Sadler said.
Rutter is charged as an adult with criminal homicide, burglary, conspiracy to commit burglary and robbery.
He was taken into custody without incident after being spotted by police near the murder scene in the 600 block of East Marion Street around 10 p.m. Monday, officials said.
Police said Mathewson was found dead inside her home at 710 N. Franklin Street Monday morning. They said she suffered visible traumatic injuries.
According to the criminal complaint, Rutter admitted to investigators that he and another person went to Mathewson’s home to burglarize it, that they “applied force” to Mathewson while they stole from her, and that she died as the result of the force applied during the burglary.
Officials said the crime appears to be random.
On Tuesday, Lancaster County Coroner Dr. Stephen G. Diamantoni said Mathewson died of multiple traumatic injuries, following an autopsy.
“It’s an absolutely devastating crime. It’s grisly,” District Attorney Craig Stedman said. “We are not going to go into the details exactly how she was killed. That will come out.”
Mathewson, 32, was a sixth-grade teacher at Brownstown Elementary School, according to a statement from Conestoga Valley School District superintendent Dr. Gerald Huesken.
There are a dozen counselors and support staffers from in and around the district, and the school addressed the entire sixth grade on Tuesday, Huesken said.
“They were able to work with students, work with staff members. We established a safe roof where students can be set down if they are having trouble dealing with this and talk to somebody,” Huesken told ABC 27.