DOVER, N.H. (AP) — An actor and martial arts instructor accused of killing a female University of New Hampshire student last week was upbeat and described his life as "really good" three days after the woman's death, an acquaintance said Monday.
Seth Mazzaglia, of Dover, was charged Saturday with second-degree murder in the death of 19-year-old Elizabeth "Lizzi" Marriott, who vanished a week ago and whose body has yet to be found. He is accused of strangling or suffocating her in his apartment Tuesday night; the search for the body has been focused on Peirce Island in nearby Portsmouth.
Mazzaglia, 29, didn't speak during a brief arraignment via video feed Monday, and his court-appointed attorneys didn't object to the prosecutor's request that he be held without bail.
But Craig Faulkner, who works at a theater company where Mazzaglia had auditioned, said he chatted with Mazzaglia for about 20 minutes on Friday while shopping at Best Buy in Newington. Mazzaglia, who was working in the store's video game section, told him: "Life is good," said Faulkner, producing artistic director at Seacoast Repertory Theatre in Portsmouth.
"I just asked him, 'How are things?' He said, 'Things are really good,'" Faulkner told The Associated Press.
Marriott, of Westborough, Mass., was living with an aunt in Chester, N.H., and commuting to the university in Durham, where she was majoring in marine biology. She was last heard from Oct. 9 when she made plans to visit friends in Dover after attending a class, but never showed up. Her cellphone was last used in Dover that night, according to fliers that family members posted, but authorities said her car was found several miles away in a parking lot on campus in Durham.
Family and friends spent several frantic days searching for her before charges were announced over the weekend. Police have not said what led them to arrest Mazzaglia or how he knew Marriott.
"They were familiar with each other," Senior Assistant Attorney General Jane Young said Monday.
Young said "credible information" has prompted authorities to focus search efforts on the water around the 27-acre island that separates the city of Portsmouth from the Piscataqua River. Marine patrol officials have been using sonar and an underwater camera, she said, but the river's currents and eddies have hampered their efforts.