The Anchorage Police Department has apprehended Zarrius Hildabrand, 21, the spouse of a woman who had been missing since Sunday. He is now facing charges for her murder after her body was discovered more than four days later. The deceased, Saria Barney Hildabrand, 21, was found on Thursday evening. Her body was found hidden in a storm drain near the apartment they shared in Anchorage.
A gunshot was reported in the vicinity around 2:45 a.m. on Sunday, but upon arrival, the officers found nothing suspicious. Saria Hildabrand’s body was later discovered hidden in a storm drain along a trail near the apartment complex on Thursday.
Zarrius Hildabrand, a soldier with the U.S. Army in Anchorage, was arrested and is now in custody at the Anchorage jail. He faces charges of first- and second-degree murder, as well as tampering with evidence. The first-degree murder charge could result in a maximum penalty of 99 years in prison.
Saria Hildabrand, a combat medic with the Alaska National Guard and an employee at a Midtown restaurant, was last seen on Sunday near the couple’s apartment complex. She was not reported missing until Monday. Since then, the police had been investigating her disappearance, with friends and family circulating a missing poster.
Zarrius Hildabrand’s account of events differed from the findings of the investigation. He claimed that his wife left for work on foot between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. on Sunday. However, a friend who was with them on Saturday night said Saria had told her she did not plan to work on Sunday.
Zarrius Hildabrand reported his wife missing on Monday afternoon, claiming he thought he might find her and that it was a misunderstanding. He refused to let police search the bed in the apartment after officers noticed a missing sheet and a new sheet set on the kitchen table.
On Wednesday, a search warrant was executed, and the mattress was found soaked in blood. Two handguns were also recovered, one missing a bullet from the magazine. On Thursday, detectives tracked Hildabrand’s phone to a Lowe’s store where they learned he bought a large wheeled garbage can. A similar can was spotted in the back of a landscaping truck north of the complex, in the area of a trail, and was seized.
Zarrius Hildabrand was arrested and taken to the Anchorage jail, with his bail set at $500,000. During Hildabrand’s first court hearing on Friday, Saria Hildabrand’s mother, Meredith Barney, gave a statement expressing her horror at her son-in-law’s actions.