STRATHAM — Colleagues of Cassie Heppner returned to work at Timberland’s corporate headquarters on Monday — one day after they attended a celebration of life to remember their friend and coworker who had been brutally murdered at the office last week.
It was a somber return for grief-stricken employees who are still in shock after learning that the 46-year-old Exeter woman was stabbed allegedly by Securitas security guard Robert Pavao, who worked at Timberland’s Stratham offices at 200 Domain Drive.
Pavao, 20, of Berwick, Maine, is charged with two counts of second-degree murder and is being held without bail at the Rockingham County jail.
Timberland was immediately closed after the murder on the afternoon of Feb. 9 and remained shut down with all access points blocked off last week as employees mourned and investigators searched for clues.
Heppner was the director of marketing for Timberland PRO, which handles the company’s line of professional workwear.
“Today, the Timberland community came back to our home for the first time since the tragic incident that claimed the life of our beloved colleague, Cassie Heppner. Cassie was a smart, talented and passionate leader of the Timberland PRO marketing team. She worked tirelessly to elevate and celebrate the skilled trades as a noble career path for men and women alike. Her passion for worthy work was matched only by her fierce commitment to and love of her PRO team. We take comfort in coming back together as a community to grieve and honor Cassie — knowing she would want us to carry on the work she so valued,” Timberland said in a statement released Monday afternoon.
On Sunday, hundreds of friends, family members and coworkers turned out to pay their respects to Heppner at a celebration of life held at Stockbridge Funeral Home in Exeter. Heppner leaves behind a husband and son.
The state Attorney General’s office has not offered a possible motive for the murder, but court records indicate that Pavao did not know Heppner, whose body was found inside the headquarters when police arrived after responding to a 911 call about a stabbing.
Associate Attorney General Jeffery Strelzin would not say who made the 911 call.
Securitas, the security company that court records show employed Pavao, has not responded to requests for comment.