Family of Utah woman killed by husband release statement, say she is ‘shining light’

Aug 14, 2023, 5:14 PM | Updated: 10:13 pm

ANCHORAGE, AK — The family of a Utah woman killed in Alaska released a statement after the woman’s remains were found in a drainpipe near a trail and her husband was taken into custody, accused of murder.

Man kills newly-wed wife from Utah, hides her body in drainpipe

Saria Hildebrand was found dead, shot in the head on Aug. 10. She had been reported missing on Aug. 6 by her husband, Zarrius Hildebrand who is now charged with her murder.

Friends held a vigil for Saria on Monday night, with family calling her a “fun-loving, good person.”

“She was just fun and beautiful, fun to be around, adventurous, loving,” Meredith Barney, Saria’s mother, told KSL TV. “She was just the light in the world for me.”

Saria’s family posted the following statement on Facebook:

“Saria Barney was an amazing young woman. No one could imagined (sic) that this would happen to her.

As we try to make sense of this tragedy we want to thank everyone in Anchorage for their support to Saria’s family. Thank you to Anchorage Police, most notably the detectives who took the Missing Person report seriously. Thank you to the Army National Guard and Army leaders who have communicated with us and to the platoon members who have joined us in the search for Saria. We are grateful to the public who have spread Saria’s name online and on the ground. Thank you to the media for your prompt response and work to share Saria’s story.

Saria is a beloved daughter and step-daughter. She is a cherished sister. She is a shining light to her grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles. Saria is loved by a large extended family and network of friends spanning many cities and states. Saria is a genuine, caring woman that is independent, courageous, and brave. She was a good student in training to become a combat medic and preparing for her future.

We trust Anchorage Police are capable in handling the investigative portion of the case. We trust Army CID are actively cooperating and lending support. We are hopeful this leads to a just prosecution.

We ask for privacy as our family continues to stay active in the investigation and gathers together to remember our beautiful Saria. We will provide updates as possible.
Thank you for thinking of Saria and supporting our efforts.”

A GoFundMe set up for the family to cover travel expenses to Alaska as well as the cost to bring Saria’s remains home to Utah can be found here. 

*KSL TV does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisors and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

FILE: A Utah Highway Patrol vehicle in Salt Lake City is pictured on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020. (Dese...

Josh Ellis

US 89 closed in Logan Canyon due to crash

Both directions of U.S. Highway 89 have been closed in Logan Canyon due to a crash.

19 minutes ago

Matt Gephardt reviewing the letter sent to Robert Bohman. (KSL TV)...

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

Get Gephardt helps man stuck with an out-of-network bill for a test his insurance pre-authorized

After a Morgan man went for a medical test pre-authorized by his insurance, he was surprised with an out-of-network bill he thought he was covered for. Get Gephardt helped him to sort everything out.

11 hours ago

Andre Posen, his wife Bridgette, and their two children. (KSL TV)...

Debbie Worthen

‘They saved my family’: father recounts miracles after his family was hit by a car

The father and husband of a family who was hit by a car and pinned underneath it recounts his side of the story, crediting their livelihood and survival to miracles, a group of teenagers, and an airmen that came to their rescue.

12 hours ago

A still image taken from body camera footage released by Cottonwood Heights Police Department detai...

Mary Culbertson

Body camera footage shows man arrested, later charged for pointing toy gun at officers

Police body camera footage shows the arrest of Sven Oakeson, after he pointed a toy gun at the arresting officer and remained agitated and uncooperative while being detained.

13 hours ago

A still from Super/Man: The Christopher Reeve Story by Ian Bonhôte and Peter Ettedgui, an offici...

Larry D. Curtis

Sundance slate features big names with cinema newcomers in Utah festival’s 40th edition

The titles and summaries of the films that will place Utah and the Sundance Film Festival into the center of the movie world in January were announced Wednesday. The extensive slate of films includes some household names right alongside first-time directors and actors who hope to break into cinema in a big way.

13 hours ago

The new church building of the Laumalie Ma'oni'oni Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga. (Emma Benson, KSL...

Emma Benson

From one faith to another: Church of Tonga building dedicated

The Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga has a new church building which was formerly a stake center for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

14 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Design mockup half in white and half in color of luxury house interior with open plan living room a...

Lighting Design

Lighting Design 101: Learn the Basics

These lighting design basics will help you when designing your home, so you can meet both practical and aesthetic needs.

an antler with large horns int he wilderness...

Three Bear Lodge

Yellowstone in the Fall: A Wildlife Spectacle Worth Witnessing

While most people travel to this park in the summer, late fall in Yellowstone provides a wealth of highlights to make a memorable experience.

a diverse group of students raising their hands in a classroom...

Little Orchard Preschool

6 Benefits of Preschool for Kids

Some of the benefits of preschool for kids include developing independence, curiosity, and learning more about the world.

Family of Utah woman killed by husband release statement, say she is ‘shining light’