Cops: Soldier Killed Wife, Reported Her Missing

Zarrius Hildabrand joined scores of people in Anchorage search
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 14, 2023 2:20 PM CDT

A 21-year-old soldier in Alaska allegedly killed his wife and hid her body before reporting her missing. Zarrius Hildabrand faces charges including first-degree murder and tampering with evidence in the death of Saria Hildabrand, a 21-year-old medic with the Alaska National Guard, NBC News reports. He appeared in court on Friday, four days after he claimed his wife had gone to work and not returned. Police say Hildabrand told officers in Anchorage last Monday that Sara didn't come home from work Sunday night but he waited until the next day to report her missing "because he thought he might find his wife and find it was a misunderstanding." He joined scores of people, including relatives and dozens of members of her unit, who were searching for her last week.

Police said Hildabrand claimed his wife had gone to work without her phone. Her employer said a text message was received Sunday morning saying she wouldn't be at work that day—but there was no response after a coworker said she had to check in with the boss, the Anchorage Daily News reports. Police said an officer asked to search the bed in the couple's apartment after spotting a new sheet set on the kitchen table, but Hildabrand said no. When they returned with a warrant, they found a blood-soaked mattress and seized two handguns, one of which was missing a bullet from its magazine.

Police said Sara's body was found Thursday in a concealed location by a trail near the apartment complex. Her mother, Meredith Barney, tells the Daily News that she flew to Alaska from Utah to join the search after Hildabrand called on Monday. "He walked around for hours with me searching for my daughter knowing that she was dead," Barney says. "He lied to me multiple times, and tried to play it off like he was a concerned husband." Friends say the couple had been married for around a year and they hadn't seen any sign of problems.

(More Alaska stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.