Murder charges grab three in bloody elimination of two ends of lover’s triangle
FAMILY’S THAT SLAY TOGETHER DON’T STAY TOGETHER!
–— Bad things come in threes, is the old cliché; a lover’s triangle that led to two murders has now ended with three arrests for murder.
LOTHIAN, MD. — The wife and daughter, as well as the boyfriend of the daughter of a man found dead in Anne Arundel in his home on Monday, October 5, 2015, have been charged with his murder, as well as the brutal slaying of a woman with police say was involved in a love triangle. This love triangle apparently had no corners, but the curves pointed back to the only one left alive.
Police indicate that elements of the crime scene were staged to appear that a suicide might have taken place.
Police charged Ann Anastasi, who had been married for 18 years to the victim, Anthony Anastasi, with his murder and her two alleged accomplices are her daughter and the daughter’s boyfriend – Gabriel Ezekiel Struss – who had not yet accumulated an arrest record in his brief time as an adult. Struss is starting his rap sheet with first-degree murder. At only 5’6” and 150 pounds, his stay in prison with the big guys is going toughen him up quite a bit.
In this made-for-TV crime drama which unfolded in the sleepy rural area of Anne Arundel County, all of the elements of love, sex, and scheming murder plots came together in a whirlwind of blood.
Police say that at approximately 12:56 p.m.., Anne Arundel County Police Southern District officers responded to the 650 West Bay Front Road, Lothian, Maryland for an unconscious male lying near a handgun.
Upon arrival officers located an adult male subject suffering a fatal wound from an apparent gunshot wound to the upper body in the master bedroom. Fire department personnel responded to the scene and later pronounced the male as being deceased. The deceased male was positively identified as Anthony Joseph Anastasi Jr, 40, of the home in which he was found.
As patrol officers were conducting their initial investigation, an injured adult female was located in the basement area of the residence. The adult female suffered apparent trauma to her upper body and was also pronounced deceased by medical professionals. The murdered woman in the basement was positively identified as Jacqueline Irene Riggs, 25, a resident of the same house in Lothian.
Homicide detectives along with technicians from the Evidence Collection Unit responded to the scene searching the area for any items of possible evidentiary value in regards to the death of these two individuals. Several witnesses were located and brought to the Criminal Investigation Division where interviews were conducted.
On Tuesday, October 6, 2015, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner located in Baltimore Maryland performed an autopsy on Mr. Anastasi and Ms. Riggs. Mr. Anastasi’s cause of death was a gunshot wound while the cause of Ms. Riggs’ death was multiple cut/stab wounds.
Slashing wounds and multiple cuts are often indicative of crimes of passion between lovers, both homosexual, and heterosexual murders.
As detectives sifted through the evidence recovered from the crime scene, several items were forensically analyzed. The forensic analysis of several items of recovered evidence did not coincide with what the crime scene depicted. Working in conjunction with the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner the deaths of Ms. Riggs and Mr. Anastasi were both ruled homicides.
Through physical evidence along with witness and suspect interviews, homicide detectives were able to piece together the events that led to this double murder. Ann Marie Anastasi was the wife of the victim, Anthony Anastasi, and had been married for eighteen years.
Police report that Riggs had been an associate of the family and had been romantically involved with Anthony and Ann Anastasi. During the summer of 2015, Police says that Riggs moved into the basement of their residence located in the 600 block of West Bay Front Road which caused tension within the residence.
Within a short period of time, police say that Ann Anastasi and her daughter, 13-years of age, decided to have Mr. Anastasi and Ms. Riggs killed. They enlisted the aid of the thirteen-year old’s boyfriend to commit the murders.
During the morning of Thursday, October 15, 2015, the Homicide Unit worked with the Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney’s Office and secured an arrest warrant for Ann Anastasi. During the evening of Thursday, October 15, 2015, Ann Anastasi was taken into custody without incident in the 600 block of West Bay Front Road. She was charged with two counts of First-Degree Murder, two counts of Second-Degree Murder and the use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony. Ann Anastasi is currently being held at the Anne Arundel County Jennifer Road Detention Center on a no bond status.
The thirteen-year-old female juvenile was also located where she was taken into custody and charged with two counts of First Degree Murder and also Accessory after the Fact. The juvenile was remanded to the custody of a juvenile detention facility.
As detectives worked through the night, they were able to secure an arrest warrant for the eighteen-year-old boyfriend. The boyfriend was identified as Gabriel Ezekiel Struss of Bay Ridge Road, Annapolis, Maryland.
During the early morning hours of Friday, October 16, 2015, Gabriel Struss was taken into custody with the assistance of the Annapolis Police Department without incident in the 900 block of Bay Ridge Road, Annapolis, Maryland. Gabriel Struss, of 110 Spring Valley Drive in Annapolis, was charged with two counts of First Degree Murder, two counts of Second Degree Murder, two counts of Conspiracy to Commit First Degree Murder, two counts of Conspiracy to Commit Second Degree Murder and two counts of a Firearm use in a Felony Crime of Violence.
Struss faces his first court hearing on Oct. 19, 2015, in Annapolis.
Even with the arrests, the police say that their investigation is a very fluid and active. The Anne Arundel County Police are urging anyone with information to come forward by calling Homicide Detective Jason McNemar at 410-222-4756. If people with information wish to remain anonymous, they can also contact the Anne Arundel County Police Tip Line 410-222-4700 or Metro Crime Stoppers.