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Norwich woman was stabbed to death, medical examiner says

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Norwich — The state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner said Tuesday that 25-year-old Casey Chadwick, who was found dead Monday in her apartment at 16 Spaulding St., Apt. 2., was stabbed to death.

The death was caused by "sharp forced injuries to the head and neck with vascular injuries," according to the medical examiner. The death was ruled a homicide.

Wendy Hartling doesn't know who would kill her daughter, but she believes that whoever did it must have known her.

"She would always lock her door," Hartling said through tears Tuesday morning. "She would never let anyone in that she didn't know. When I would go and visit, I would knock on the door and say, 'It's mom.'"

Her death is the city's first homicide since May 2013, when 13-month-old Madison Alexa Reid was killed by her mother's boyfriend, Michael Rios.

Hartling said she went to the Norwich Police Department with her youngest daughter, Erin, after police asked her to come in. She did not know her daughter was dead. When police told her, she said, she collapsed.

"Police told me that she was found in a closet," said Hartling. "She had blunt trauma... that means she suffered. I don't know who would do that."

Hartling said Chadwick lived alone in the apartment, but her boyfriend, whom Hartling knew as "Bugs," would occasionally stay there. She said Chadwick was looking for a new place to live.

The plan, Hartling said, was for her and Erin to move in with Chadwick in a new place. A rental application could be seen in the back seat of Chadwick's black Hyundai Sonata, which was parked on the street.

Hartling said she and her daughter would talk every day. The last time they spoke was Sunday and nothing seemed amiss, the mother said. She said she messaged her daughter Monday, but didn't think much of it when she didn't respond.

"She was a wonderful girl," said Hartling. "She was a lot like me ... easy to get upset, but in 20 minutes it would be back to normal. We were very close. She always wanted to be with me."

Hartling said her daughter was the third of four siblings and had no children of her own. She said Chadwick was angry for years after Hartling and her ex-husband, Jeff, divorced in 1998.

"She loved her siblings very much," said Hartling. "She will be missed very much by all of her family."

Recently, Hartling said, things were looking up for her daughter. This week she was supposed to start work as a certified nursing assistant for a local agency.

"She was excited about starting a new job," said Hartling.

Spaulding Street was closed through the night and reopened at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday. Norwich detectives and the state police Eastern District Major Crime Squad were at the scene. Witnesses said police arrived in the area around 3:30 p.m. Monday.

Police said Tuesday several leads are being investigated, and the death is believed to be an isolated incident.

Real estate records show that Craig Schultz and Richard Peirce of New York own the property, which has four apartments. No one answered knocks on the doors Tuesday morning at the other apartments. Kristin Schultz, said her husband, Craig, was out of town and could not be reached to comment. 

Next-door neighbor Jim Hayes said he heard some yelling from Chadwick's house before police arrived Monday afternoon. He said Chadwick and her boyfriend were "good, quiet neighbors."

He said the neighborhood for the most part is good, but that the house seemed to attract the attention of police about once a week. He could not say which apartments were involved or why exactly police would be there.

Police have not made any arrests in Chadwick's death. Anyone with information on this crime is asked to call police at (860) 886-5561 or the Anonymous Tip Line at (860) 886-5561, ext. 500.

Day staff writer Greg Smith contributed to this report.

Twitter: @larraneta


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