Richmond police have a person of interest in custody in the slaying of a Virginia Commonwealth University administrator who was found dead at her Stratford Hills home in May.

Police said Friday that the man will remain in custody until formal charges are filed in connection with the death of Suzanne A. Fairman, 53. The man’s identity was not released.

“Detectives identified this person within days of the homicide when he was jailed on charges not directly related to our case,” Richmond police Capt. James Laino said in a news release. “While I wish we could have said something sooner to calm the fears of the community, we couldn’t speak to the matter publicly until we were further along with the investigation.”

On May 9 about 11 p.m., officers responded to Fairman’s South Side home in the 7400 block of Tanglewood Road for a welfare check. According to a search warrant in the case, she was expected to travel to Florida but never arrived.

Officers found her unresponsive and facedown in a bathtub with the water running and a bloody knife on a counter nearby, according to the warrant. The longtime administrator at VCU was pronounced dead at the scene; the state medical examiner’s office said the cause of death was asphyxia.

According to the search warrant, detectives inventoried bedding, gloves, a bandana, a knife and a cord, as well as several computers and electronic devices.

Anyone with information about Fairman’s death is asked to call Detective J. Baynes at (804) 646-3617 or Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000.

You can also contact Crime Stoppers by going to or using the P3 Tips app for smartphones.

All Crime Stoppers methods are anonymous.

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