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Man charged after woman found stabbed to death in camper in south St. Louis

Zachary Kearnes, 21, was charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action
Credit: St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department
Zachary Kearnes

ST. LOUIS — A 21-year-old man has been charged after a woman was found stabbed to death inside a camper in south St. Louis last month.

Zachary Kearnes was charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action.

At around 10:40 p.m. on Nov. 15, St. Louis police were called to the 7800 block of Vulcan Street for a report of a “sudden death.” 

When officers arrived, they found a woman inside a camper with a stab wound. She was pronounced dead at the scene. The victim was later identified as 47-year-old Christina Hesselmeyer.

According to the probable cause statement, Hesselmeyer was asphyxiated and had been cut multiple times in her neck. The medical examiner determined she had been dead for at least 24 hours before her body was found.

Prior to that, a witness saw Kearnes with Hesselmeyer's purse and keys and a second witness saw him with blood on his clothes, court documents state.

On Nov. 15, Kearnes sent a text from her phone pretending to be her, according to the statement. He was arrested on Nov. 16 and had Hesselmeyer's phone and necklace.

He's being held without bond.