A 32-year-old man was charged Monday in the stabbing death of his ex-girlfriend, whose body was found March 20 in a wooded area inside Sheffield Park in Northeast Kansas City.
Jared M. Witthar of Independence faces second-degree murder and armed criminal action charges in the death of Theresa Christman, 35, the mother of four children.
Prosecutors allege Witthar stabbed Christman several times on March 15. Her body was found several days later in the park near 11th Street and Ewing Avenue.
According to court records, police found traces of the victim's blood inside of her car, which police later found about a mile away from Witthar's house in Independence.
They also found a knife at the park. Detectives used DNA found on the handle to link Witthar to the slaying, police said in court documents. Blood on the blade was determined to belong to Christman.
A witness told investigators that Christman was going to meet her ex-boyfriend on March 15. The friend said she did not want Christman to visit Witthar because his violent nature and prior incidents in which he allegedly assaulted Christman.
The friend recalled an incident that happened in late February, when Christman arrived late to work, appeared to be disheveled and had bruises on her neck and arms. Christman allegedly told the friend that Witthar threatened her at knife-point and held her against her will, according to court records.
Witthar had history of violence and jealousy involving Christman, prosecutors allege.
A friend of Christman's told investigators that Witthar became obsessed with her and would track her movements through her phone. The friend said while she never witnessed any violent acts against Christman, she heard Witthar threaten Christman, court records allege.
Investigators noticed through cell phone records that Witthar and Christman texted and called each other several times on March 15, the day of the killing.
According to her obituary, Christman was born in Mariana, Fla. She graduated from Colorado Technical School.
"Theresa was an artistic soul, you could find her always drawing, painting or being creative in some way, but the passion of her life was her four children," according the obituary. "She was a loving mother, fiancé, daughter, sister, and friend who will be greatly missed by all who knew her."
Friends created a GoFundMe page on behalf of Christman's family.