Man arrested 3 years after allegedly murdering former girlfriend in Bakersfield apartment

Jessica Hayes is seen in an undated photo provided to Eyewitness News in 2015.

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) – A man has been arrested on suspicion of strangling his former girlfriend in June 2015 in her Bakersfield apartment.

A police report on the investigation details Anthony Karsten’s apparent anger that 25-year-old Jessica Hayes broke off their relationship.

Karsten, 43, was arrested without incident in Santee, in San Diego County, according to Bakersfield police. A murder charge was filed Monday in Kern County court.

Hayes lived in Bakersfield but hailed from Tennessee. She moved to Bakersfield with her boyfriend after serving four years in the Navy.

The police investigation document, obtained by Eyewitness News on Tuesday, shows Karsten reportedly made threatening statements about Hayes. Family and friends reported he threatened to kill her if she left him.

Karsten’s DNA was also found on the belt used to strangle Hayes, police said.

The morning of her murder, Hayes sent her new boyfriend an alarming text message that Karsten had shown up at her apartment. That was the last known communication with Hayes.

Hayes’ cellphone was missing when her body was found.

Karsten reportedly showed up at the Hayes’ apartment while police were investigating and started asking questions.

Police said he claimed to be in Tulare County at the time of the murder, but police said he failed to tell them that he had checked into a hotel in Bakersfield shortly after the time of the murder.

Karsten’s cellphone was also apparently erased around the time of the murder, police noted in their investigation.

Police called Karsten’s actions and statements at the time “suspicious and inconsistent.”

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