Autopsy: Bride-to-be strangled before apartment set on fire

CHARLOTTE (WABC) -- An autopsy report reveals that a beloved 27-year-old college counselor was strangled inside her southwest Charlotte apartment in June before it was set on fire.

Amanda Strous, who was a counselor at Central Piedmont Community College and a bride-to-be, suffered injuries including burns and blunt force trauma.

The report shows that Strous was only wearing bathing suit bottoms and that her mouth was reportedly covered with duct tape that emergency crews had to remove, WSOC reports.

Twenty-eight-year-old Matthew Thomas Benner is charged with first-degree arson and murder in her death. Authorities believe Benner, who lived in the same apartment complex as Strous, had been stalking her.

Matthew Thomas Benner

Strous was to be married in September.

A rape kit was also performed and turned over to detectives.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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