Lothian, MD – On Monday, Oct. 5 at approximately 12:56 p.m., Anne Arundel County Police Southern District officers responded to West Bay Front Road, Lothian for an unconscious male lying near a handgun. Upon arrival officers located in the master bedroom an adult male suffering from an apparent gunshot wound to the upper body. Fire department personnel responded to the scene and later pronounced the male dead. The deceased male was positively identified as Anthony Joseph Anastasi Jr, 40 of Lothian.
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 dead by medical professionals. The deceased female was positively identified as Jacqueline Irene Riggs, 25 of 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, Oct. 6 the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore performed autopsies on Anastasi and Riggs. Anastasi’s cause of death was a gunshot wound while the cause of Riggs’ death was multiple cut/stab wounds.
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 Riggs and 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 (pictured above) was the wife of the victim, Anthony Anastasi, and they had been married for 18 years. Riggs had been an associate of the family and had been romantically involved with Anthony and Ann Anastasi. During the summer of 2015, 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, Ann Anastasi and a 13-year-old juvenile decided to have Anastasi and Riggs killed. They enlisted the aid of the 13-year-old’s boyfriend to commit the murders. During the morning of Thursday, Oct. 15 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, Oct. 15 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 13-year old female was also located, 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 18-year-old boyfriend. The boyfriend was identified as Gabriel Ezekiel Struss of Annapolis. During the early morning hours of Friday, Oct. 16, Gabriel Struss was taken into custody with the assistance of the Annapolis Police Department without incident. Struss 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.
Even with the arrests, this is a very fluid and active investigation. 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.