A longtime Virginia Commonwealth University administrator was found last week face down in the bathtub of her Stratford Hills home with the water running and a bloody knife on the nearby counter, according to a search warrant in the case, and Richmond police have classified her death as a homicide.

At 11:07 p.m. Thursday, Richmond police responded to the home of Suzanne A. Fairman, 53, in the 7100 block of Tanglewood Road, for a welfare check. According to the warrant, she was supposed to travel to Florida but never arrived.

Officers found Fairman in the tub in the main bathroom of the home, the warrant said. The medical examiner’s office said the cause of death was asphyxia.

“The water was running and a knife with blood on it was visible on the counter in the same bathroom,” the document said.

On Monday, Richmond police said the death investigation they’d opened Thursday had been reclassified as a homicide.

The search warrant covered “knives or any device capable of slicing or cutting.” Detectives inventoried several computers and electronic devices, bedding, gloves, a bandana, one knife and a cord.

Fairman was the operational administrator for VCU’s academic learning transformation lab and graduated from the VCU School of Business, according to a university website.

Police released a photo of Fairman after speaking with family members in hopes that it would “prompt people to come forward with any information they may have on this case,” Major Crimes Capt. James Laino said in a statement. “Any information, no matter how small the detail may be, could assist in solving this case.”

Anyone with information about this homicide is asked to call Major Crimes Detective J. Baynes at (804) 646-3617 or contact Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000 or at www.7801000.com. The P3 Tips Crime Stoppers app for smartphones may also be used. All Crime Stoppers methods are anonymous.

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(804) 649-6527

Twitter: @AliRockettRTD

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