ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A Fairbanks man killed his girlfriend in the apartment they shared and moved her body to a vacant unit across a hallway in the same building, according to state prosecutors.
Eric Rustad, 39, is charged with first-degree murder, evidence tampering and misconduct with a corpse in the death of Kristen Huntington, 30.
Rustad was arrested Thursday night. He is represented by the Alaska Public Defender agency, which does not comment on pending cases. An email sent to the agency Friday requesting comment was not immediately returned.
Huntington’s co-worker on Jan. 10 told Fairbanks police that Huntington was missing and had not been seen for two days. The co-worker said it was highly unusual for Huntington to miss work and not call.
In a sworn statement accompanying charging documents. Detective Avery Thompson said police early on Jan. 11 spoke to Rustad at his apartment and were told that he had argued with Huntington and that she had left. Police walked through the apartment and departed.
That afternoon, Avery said, Rustad showed up at the police department lobby with his wrists and arms slashed. Rustad was suicidal, and officers administered first aid, police said, adding that Rustad also told police, “I know I did it.”
When asked about Huntington, Rustad said that on Jan. 9, he had drank alcohol and blacked out. He took his child to school, he said, and when he returned, he found Huntington dead on the floor, he told police.
Police searched his apartment again and could not find Huntington. The child later told police he had seen Huntington on the floor with a blanket over her.
On Jan. 12, after witnesses said Rustad was packing, police spoke to the apartment manager. She told officers they should check a vacant apartment across from Rustad’s. Inside, police spotted toes protruding from beneath a blanket.
The state medical examiner on Tuesday identified the body as Huntington. The examiner listed the cause of death as blunt force trauma to the face and back.
A search of Rustad’s apartment revealed blood stains that someone had tried to scrub, police said.
He is jailed at the Fairbanks Correctional Center.