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Man facing murder charge in girlfriend's strangulation death

The suspect was arrested at a hotel in Trinidad the day after the woman was found, police said.

LAKEWOOD, Colo. — A man is facing charges for first-degree murder after his girlfriend was found strangled to death inside a Lakewood home the couple shared together, according to the First Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

Lakewood Police were called to a home in the 2100 block of South Coors Circle in the Green Mountain neighborhood at about 2:45 p.m. on Dec. 29 to investigate a missing persons report.

Police later found 45-year-old Hilary Engel of Lakewood dead inside the home. She appeared to have been strangled to death and her head was wrapped in duct tape, according to police.

Engel’s live-in boyfriend, Karl Aaron Bemis, 51, was identified as a suspect in the strangulation and was arrested the following day at a hotel in Trinidad, according to police.

He faces the following charges: 

  • First-degree murder
  • Tampering with a deceased human body
  • ID theft
  • Aggravated motor vehicle theft
  • One violent crime count 

Bemis is being held without bond at the Jefferson County jail. He's due back in court on Feb. 9 at 8 a.m. 

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