Editor’s note: Denver police have not reported finding the suspect’s fingerprints at the scene in this case; according to court documents, they did use his prints to identify him as a suspect in a 2016 car theft in the same area. An earlier version of this story was incorrect on that point.
KUSA - A 24-year-old homeless man has been charged with first-degree murder after a body was found inside an apartment complex in Five Points on July 31, authorities say.
Court documents identify the suspect as Esstefan Hamlin. According to an affidavit for Hamlin’s arrest, blood was found on his shorts after his mother alerted police that he may have stolen a car.
A CBI report for Hamlin shows a lengthy arrest history of past car thefts.
The victim was a 28-year-old recruiter at an employment agency. Those who knew her describe Cristina Weir as a straight-edged motivator who was kind and modest to everyone.
“There are just no words," said her boss, Ben Wright. "There haven't been words for a while.”
Wright is the CEO at Velocity Global, an employment firm started in Denver in 2014. Weir was one of the company’s first hires.
“You know when you lose someone you love it's hard enough, but when it wasn't their choice it's just a real tough pill to swallow,” Wright said.
Police found Hamlin after his mother called the police and told them she saw him driving a car she didn’t recognize, according to the affidavit. Investigators found that car, a 2012 Mazda, parked outside the home of an acquaintance. According to the arrest affidavit, the officers tailed the vehicle after an unidentified man drove it to an address on East Montview Boulevard. There, officers say they seized and impounded the car.
They then arrested Hamlin after he emerged from a home in the area.
“It's been brutal,” Wright said. “It's been brutal watching our team. Just you think about how scared [Cristina] must have been. I don't know it's pretty tough. It's pretty tough and we're going to miss her.”
Police are still working to see if there was a motive for the killing.
Every year Velocity Global gives a bonus to its most outstanding employee. Starting this year Wright says he will be naming that bonus in honor of Cristina.
Hamlin has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of burglary, one count of second-degree criminal trespass and one count of aggravated motor vehicle theft in the first-degree.
He is being held without bond in the Denver City Jail. Prosecutors say his first court date has not yet been scheduled.
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