Originally created 08/07/99

Officers receive thanks



AIKEN -- It took them a while to get around to it, but the New York City Police Department has officially thanked two Aiken County officers for helping them close an acid-bath murder case -- 2 1/2 years ago.

The NYPD has sent certificates of appreciation to Lt. Robert Anderson and Investigator James Kangas for tracking down a woman from Bath who was suspected of killing a man she'd lived with earlier in Flushing, N.Y.

The dead man, 38-year-old Anthony Pickens, was found in a bathtub of acid in late January 1997.

He had been beaten and strangled, and one of the three suspects in the killing was a former roommate from South Carolina.

They traced Bernadette Staubitz, then 21, to the small Aiken County town of Bath, where she was living on Railroad Street, and asked the local sheriff's office to assist in her arrest.

Lt. Anderson and Investigator Kangas found the woman at Club Rendezvous in Columbia and arrested her there with the cooperation of Richland County deputies Feb. 13, 1997.

The suspect was hiding in a bathroom at the nightclub, according to Lt. Michael Frank, spokesman for the Aiken County Sheriff's Office.

Ms. Staubitz was held at the Aiken County Detention Center for a time before getting sent back to New York for trial.

Margaret N. O'Shea can be reached at (803) 279-6895 or scbureau@augustachronicle.com.