A man recently released from prison has been arrested in the killing of a model found dead in her suburban Philadelphia apartment, authorities said.
Jonathan Wesley Harris, 30, was arrested as he got off a bus in Pittsburgh Wednesday according to the Montgomery County district attorney’s office.
Harris was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Christina Kraft, who was found dead in her Ardmore apartment Aug. 22, officials said.
Kraft, 36, had taken a Lyft to Center City and met with Harris near South Broad and 13th Streets, the district attorney said. The pair took a vehicle back to her apartment together in the early hours of Aug. 22, surveillance footage obtained by investigators allegedly showed.
Records indicate the front door of Kraft’s apartment opened at 3:08 a.m. and the back door leading to her terrace was closed at 5:19 a.m., authorities said.
Kraft was killed in a violent struggle in that time span, the district attorney said.
“Ms. Kraft was beaten, her nose was broken and she was strangled to death," the office said in a statement.
She was found by police conducting a wellness check that evening.
Harris, of Johnstown, had been released from state prison on July 15 after serving time for charges that included assault, court records obtained by WPVI-TV showed. He was reportedly staying with his sister in southwest Philadelphia at the time of Kraft’s death.
After the discovery of Kraft’s body, Lower Merion Township police and the district attorney’s office released surveillance photographs and video they said were of a person of interest in the case.
"The following day, a concerned citizen contacted the Lower Merion Police and identified the defendant," the district attorney’s office said.
Harris allegedly texted that person around the time of Kraft’s killing, saying he was at her apartment, WPVI-TV reported.
Harris appeared in court Thursday, when he was ordered held without bail. His next hearing will be on Sept. 10.
Authorities said nothing indicated a previous relationship existed between Kraft and Harris, but that the investigation is ongoing.
Kraft’s apartment had been burglarized the weekend before she was killed. She reported that designer bags and jewelry had been stolen from her home, but investigators do not know if the burglary and murder were connected. Police said they are searching for a 31-year-old Andre Melton in connection to the burglary, according to reports.
Kraft was a model who appeared in Playboy, Vanity Fair, Victoria’s Secret and Maxim, according to her booking page.