U.S. Army soldier charged with murder of his wife after reporting her missing in Alaska


A U.S. solider was charged with murdering his wife in Anchorage, Alaska, four days after he reported her missing to police.

Zarrius Hildabrand, 21, has been charged with first and second degree murder as well as tampering with evidence, according to court records. Saria Hildabrand was first reported missing on Monday, a day after she was last seen at the couple’s apartment complex, Anchorage police said at the time.

Saria Hildabrand, also 21, was a medic with the Alaska National Guard while her husband worked as a cannon crew member in the U.S. Army, according to NBC affiliate KTUU. Requests for comment from the Army and Alaska National Guard were not immediately returned to NBC News on Sunday.

Court records show Zarrius Hildebrand was arraigned Friday, with an initial charging document filed in his case.

The document was not immediately available online, but a copy obtained by KTUU says that Anchorage police found Saria Hildabrand’s body on Thursday while searching for her using drones.

Zarrius Hildabrand told police he and his wife had been out with friends on Aug. 5 celebrating his birthday and had not returned until early the next morning. He said his wife left for work at about 10 a.m. on Aug. 6 and that he went to look for her after she still hadn’t returned home about 12 hours later, KTUU reported.

According to the charging documents, Saria Hildabrand’s co-workers reported to police that they had received text messages from her at 10:45 a.m. on Aug. 6 stating she was calling out of work. That same day, Zarrius Hildabrand purchased a 96-gallon trashcan, a set of new bed sheets, hydrogen peroxide, and an empty spray bottle.

Court records do not list an attorney for Zarrius Hildabrand, who remains in custody at the Anchorage Correctional Complex as of Sunday.

Meredith Barney, Saria Hildabrand’s mother, told reporters after Friday’s arraignment that her daughter was the “most amazing, precious child ever.”

She said she began to have her suspicions about Zarrius Hildabrand “from the second he called me from her own cell phone.” 

“She would never not have her phone,” Barney said. 

Barney said she was not aware of anything abnormal between the couple outside of normal “newlywed” issues. The couple met during basic training roughly a year ago and Saria moved from Utah to Alaska a few months later, Barney said.

“She came to Anchorage I want to say in January or February,” Barney said. “She moved here, well first to be with him but then also because she wanted to get into the medical side of the National Guard and it’s way quicker to do it here than in Utah.”

Working the medical field was always a passion for Saria and Barney said she was excited and proud of her daughter for pursuing a new adventure. Barney said she wants the justice that her daughter deserves.

“She’s just always been looking for the future, and happy, and really, like, loved,” Barney said. “She loved everybody. Everyone loved her.”


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