Man charged with first-degree murder in strangulation of Lakewood woman

A Lakewood man has been charged with multiple felonies, including first-degree murder, in the strangulation of his girlfriend, authorities said.

Karl Aaron Bemish, 51, has been charged with the death of 45-year-old Hilary Engel at her Green Mountain area home, according to a Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office news release.

On Dec. 29, police checking on a missing person report found Engel’s body inside her residence, 2118 S. Coors Circle, according to the release. Bemish, described as the victim’s boyfriend, resided at the home.

“She appeared to have been strangled to death with electrical cords and her head was wrapped in duct tape,” the release said.

Her body was found underneath a bed in the home, according to an affidavit in the case, covered with towel and blankets.

“It appeared that (Engel) was strangled to death and the bed was then placed on top of her body,” the affidavit said.

Engel and Bemish first met in July when he worked on a landscaping job at her property, the affidavit said. They began an “intimate relationship” and Bemish moved into the home in August.

The day after the body was found, investigators tracked Bemish to a Trinidad hotel where he was arrested.

Bemish is being held without bond in the Jefferson County jail. He’s also charged with tampering with a body, identity theft and aggravated motor vehicle theft, all felonies. He also faces a violent crime count. His next court appearance is scheduled Feb. 9.

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