The ex-boyfriend of a 19-year-old woman from El Cajon who was found dead in Arizona a month after she vanished has been charged with murder, Phoenix television station KPHO reported Tuesday.
Jon Christopher Clark, 23, made his first court appearance after being charged with one count of first-degree murder, one count of improper removal of a body and one count of evidence tampering, according to the station. A cash-only bond was set at $1 million.
Sgt. Vince Lewis of the Phoenix Police Department said earlier Tuesday that investigators have developed probable cause linking Clark to the death of Kiera Bergman and recommended a first-degree murder charge be filed in the case, according to the state.
According to court documents, Clark picked Bergman up from work early on the last day anyone saw her alive. Bergman's body was found wearing the same clothes she had on when Clark picked her up.
Police believe that Clark was sending text messages to her roommate's phone and his own phone to make it seem that Bergman was still alive.
Police say the text messages sent from her phone to Clark saying she left and was allowing him to have some money from her bank account were actually made from inside Bergman's apartment while on her WiFi router.
According to court documents, Clark's statements and multiple witness accounts didn't match.
Clark was already in jail on unrelated charges of aggravated identity theft and forgery. He was arrested about two weeks after Bergman disappeared but at the time, investigators did not have anything to connect him to her case.
Bergman was last seen alive on Aug. 4 at her Phoenix apartment in the area of 51st Avenue and Thunderbird Road.
Her body was found on Sept. 3 in a desert area near State Route 85 in Buckeye. It wasn't clear how long her body had been there or how she died.
Bergman's parents said their daughter moved to Phoenix from El Cajon earlier this year to be with Clark. They also said that she changed after her move, seeming to have lost her spirit.
Bergman and Clark apparently broke up not long before she disappeared.