Man arrested after NC woman dies in fire that was set at her apartment

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) — A 28-year-old man was arrested in Nevada in connection with the death of a college campus counselor whose Charlotte apartment was intentionally set on fire.

amanda strous photo

Firefighters were called to the fire in the 12100 block of Toscana Way at 5:36 p.m. Saturday. Charlotte Fire Department said they were able to remove Amanda Strous, 27, from the burning apartment.

She was then taken to Carolinas Medical Center- Steele Creek, but died from her injuries. Police said they are investigating her death as a homicide.

Monday afternoon, police said Mathew Thomas Benner, 28, was arrested and charged with Strous’ murder.

Benner was arrested in Nevada through a combined effort of the U.S. Marshals Violent Offender Task Force, the Nye County Sheriff’s Office and CMPD’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Team.

Matthew Benner in a photo from WBTV
Mathew Benner in a photo from WBTV

Benner is currently in the custody of the Nye County Sheriff’s Office awaiting extradition. There is no timetable on his return.

Benner will be charged with murder and 1st degree arson, officials said.

Strous was a student counselor at Central Piedmont Community College. She had been employed at CPCC for about six months.

“She helped students plan their academic paths and helped them be successful in their programs of study,” the university said Monday. “The college is deeply saddened by Amanda’s death. The thoughts and prayers of the college community are with Amanda’s family, friends and coworkers.”

WBTV has also learned that Strous was engaged and set to be married in less than two months.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call 704-432-TIPS and speak directly to a Homicide Unit Detective. Detective Grosse is the lead detective assigned to the case.

The public can also call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600 or visit the Crime Stoppers mobile app website at

Copyright 2016 WBTV. All rights reserved.

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