RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond Police say a man has been charged in the murder of a Virginia Commonwealth University administrator back in May.

Thomas E. Clark, 59, of the 7100 block of Horsepen Road, Henrico County, was indicted Monday on charges of murder, rape, and abduction with intent to defile.

Clark was picked up a week after 53-year-old Suzanne A. Fairman’s murder, police said. He was jailed on charges not directly related to the homicide investigation.

Thomas E. Clark

“Knowing Clark was taken into custody so quickly was a relief for everyone involved in the investigation,” said Major Crimes Capt. James Laino. “I wish we could have shared that information sooner with the community, but we didn’t want to release his name until we had all the evidence collected to present to the grand jury.”

Her son, Scott Fairman, told 8News that Clark was a contractor hired to stain his mother’s deck. 8News has confirmed he worked for C&C and Son Landscaping and Pressure Wash in Henrico County.

Scott Fairman also said he believes Clark purposefully did not finish the deck so he could go back to the home and murder his mother.

According to online records, Clark has a lengthy criminal history, including a rape conviction in Alexandria in 1988.

Suzanne A. Fairman’s home in the 7400 block of Tanglewood Road

On the night of May 9, Richmond Police were called to Fairman’s home, located in the 7400 block of Tanglewood Road, for a welfare check. Once they arrived, they found Fairman, who was face down in the tub located in the main bathroom, according to court documents. 

The welfare check was prompted because Fairman was supposed to have been traveling to Florida, but never arrived, court documents show. The affidavit also revealed that water was running and a knife with blood on it was visible on the counter in the same bathroom. 

She was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Fairman was an operational administrator at Virginia Commonwealth University.

VCU’s website

Scott Fairman spoke to 8News days after the death of his mother.

“This process hasn’t been easy,” he told 8News in May. “It’s been the most difficult time of my life.”

Following news of the indictment, 8News reached back out to Scott Fairman, who says he is thankful that “justice will be served,” but he still couldn’t fathom what happened to his mother and why.

“It’s just as painful now as it was the first week,” he told 8News in a phone interview Monday.

Suzanne A. Fairman and her son Scott Fairman

Scott Fairman also thanked “everyone who’s putting in the long hours to try to bring this man to justice.”

The victim’s next-door neighbor Ralph White echoed Scott Fairman’s sentiments.

“I’m so glad that they got that evil man,” White told 8News.

Anyone with information about this homicide is asked to call Major Crimes Detective J. Baynes at (804) 646-3617 or contact Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000 or at The P3 Tips Crime Stoppers app for smartphones may also be used. All Crime Stoppers methods are anonymous.

Stay with 8News for updates on this developing story.

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