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Soldier charged for murdering Nat’l Guard wife

The latest threatening call resulted in students being evacuated from a high school and middle school in Western North Carolina on Thursday, April 7, local police stated. (Dreamstime/TNS)
August 17, 2023

In a tragic turn of events, an Alaska-based soldier stands accused of murdering his wife, whose body was found in a storm drain near the couple’s Anchorage apartment.

The suspect, 21-year-old Zarrius Hildabrand, and his wife, Saria Hildabrand, also age 21, both served the nation in military roles. According to Anchorage Police, Zarrius Hildabrand was arrested last week and has been charged with first- and second-degree murder and for tampering with evidence.

Zarrius Hildabrand, who enlisted in September 2021 and currently serves as an artilleryman with the 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 11th Airborne Division, reported his wife missing on August 7.

In the appearance of a desperate plea, he turned to social media, posting photos and urging the public to help locate her, saying, “PLEASE SHARE AND REPOST!!!!!!”

However, the Anchorage Daily News recently revealed a heart-wrenching statement from the victim’s mother, Meredith Barney, during the arraignment, which highlighted the suspect’s alleged actions.

“He walked around for hours with me searching for my daughter, knowing that she was dead,” she said. “He lied to me multiple times and tried to play it off like he was a concerned husband.”

The couple, who were married in December, met during basic training, according to Alaska’s News Source. Saria Hildabrand’s service journey began in May 2021 when she enlisted in the Utah National Guard as a field artillery firefinder radar operator.

She later transferred to the Alaska Army National Guard in April and was assigned as a medic with the 1st Battalion, 297th Infantry Regiment.

READ MORE: Nat’l Guard soldier dies suddenly after 2-mile run, another soldier hospitalized

The surrounding circumstances of Hildabrand’s “disappearance” have resulted in questions pertaining to Zarrius Hildabrand’s claims. Zarrius Hildabrand claimed his wife left for work on the day she vanished. By evening, when she failed to appear at her job and missed their scheduled pick-up, he reported her “disappearance.”

Added to the growing suspicion were reports from neighbors who heard a gunshot around 2:45 a.m. that day and subsequent findings by authorities of a missing bedsheet from the couple’s residence.

The Anchorage Daily News reported that Zarrius Hildabrand went to the store that same day and bought a mattress cover, a large garbage can, hydrogen peroxide, and a replacement bedsheet.

Maj. Gen. Torrence Saxe, the adjutant general of the Alaska National Guard, honored Saria’s commitment to service, stating, “Spc. [Saria] Hildabrand took an oath to selflessly serve and defend not only the state of Alaska, but the entire nation, a commitment worthy of admiration and respect. Her untimely passing impacts everyone on the Alaska National Guard team. She will be sorely missed.”

This news article was partially created with the assistance of artificial intelligence and edited and fact-checked by a human editor.