STRATHAM — More than a week after one of its security guards was charged with murdering a Timberland marketing director, Securitas USA issued a brief statement Tuesday acknowledging the fatal stabbing.
The company’s first public statement came after repeated requests for comment following the death of Cassie Heppner on Feb. 9 and the arrest of Securitas security employee Robert Pavao, who was immediately taken into custody at the scene, charged with two counts of second-degree murder.
“Securitas USA is deeply saddened by the events that took place in Stratham, N.H. The company is cooperating fully with New Hampshire law enforcement officials. Because the matter is an ongoing criminal investigation, the company is not able to comment further,” Securitas USA said in the statement released by its office in Parsippany-Troy Hills, N.J.
According to an Assessment Interview Report provided by the Rockingham County House of Corrections, Pavao, 20, worked full time for Securitas and had been employed by the company for four months.
He provided security at Timberland, which has offices at 200 Domain Drive, and at Lindt & Sprüngli USA Inc., which is located in the same industrial park.
On its website, Securitas describes itself as “the leader in protective services” with 370,000 employees worldwide to help “companies of all sizes and industries achieve superior security results.”
“Securitas is a knowledge leader in the security industry, providing security solutions that produce efficiencies while saving both time and money,” the website said.
Securitas provides security services for other businesses in New Hampshire.
While the statement from Securitas did not address its hiring practices, the company’s website states that it conducts drug screenings and background checks, including education verification and reference checks for applicants who have accepted a contingent offer of employment.
The Assessment Interview Report on Pavao indicates that he has no criminal convictions on his record, no history of substance abuse and no mental health diagnosis. It also states that he didn’t know Heppner.
At the time of the killing, Pavao was living with his parents in Berwick, Maine.
The state Attorney General’s office is overseeing the investigation into the death of the 46-year-old Heppner, a wife and mother from Exeter who was employed as director of marketing for the popular footwear and clothing company’s professional workwear line known as Timberland PRO.
Heppner’s family and the Timberland community have received an outpouring of support in the wake of the tragedy.
A GoFundMe online fundraiser called The Cassie Heppner Memorial Fund raised more than $131,000 by Tuesday afternoon. The money is being used to create a memorial scholarship fund with Outward Bound USA to provide opportunities for young women to reach new heights through challenging experiences in the outdoors. According to her family, Heppner loved the outdoors.