Man accused of strangling Kremmling woman to appear in court Tuesday
The man accused of murdering a Kremmling woman is scheduled to appear in Jefferson County District Court on Tuesday.
Christopher Moffat, 36, has been charged with murder in the first degree, tampering with a deceased human body and tampering with physical evidence after allegedly strangling Veronica Sarinana, 38, in June.
Moffat and Sarinana were known to have had an intimate relationship, and Moffat had been accused of getting physical with Sarinana “over 100 times during their relationship,” according to a January police report. Sarinana also had a restraining order against Moffat.
On June 19, Arvada police responded to reports of suspicious activity and a dead body inside an abandoned car outside the home of Moffat’s brother, Frank. Upon arrival, police discovered Sarinana’s body in the backseat of a white Ford Escort.
The Jefferson County Coroner’s Office determined the death to be a homicide caused by strangulation.
Officers questioned all of the residents of the house, including Frank Moffat, who “indicated Christopher was trying to set him up” because he had a relationship with Sarinana while his brother was in jail.
According to the arrest affidavit, Christopher Moffat was released from jail on June 12 and began contacting Sarinana, who rented several hotel rooms on Moffat’s behalf. Moffat told police that on June 18 Sarinana visited his hotel room and they had dinner together that night before he dropped her off at his brother’s house.
However, home security camera footage shows that Sarinana never entered the home on June 18, but it does appear to show a man matching Moffat’s description leaving Sarinana’s belongings at the front door.
On the morning of June 19, Arvada police received an anonymous report of suspicious activity and disturbance that happened the previous night at Moffat’s brother’s home. A second call about 20 minutes later came from an employee of a nearby church who stated that an anonymous man claimed his brother had killed his girlfriend and left her body in his car.
Both the anonymous caller and the man at the church were determined by police to be Moffat.
At around 11:30 p.m. June 19, Glenwood Springs Police found Moffat inside Sarinana’s car in a Walmart parking lot and arrested him for violation of a protection order.
DNA samples taken from Moffat matched swabs taken from Sarinana’s hands and neck, according to the affidavit. Sarinana had also previously reported to police that Moffat’s most common assaultive technique was to prevent her from breathing by placing his hand over her mouth and nose with the most recent incident occurring in April.
A warrant was issued for Moffat’s arrest on July 24 and he is currently being held in the Garfield County Jail without bond. He is scheduled to appear in court at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.
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The 14th Judicial District Attorney’s Office has charged one man with homicide for the Nov. 9 shooting of a hunter in Grand County.