EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Bernard Walter Christmann parked his weathered F-150 in a parking lot near the “Equestrian” statue at the El Paso International Airport before making his way to the employee parking lot, according to a police affidavit.
He hid himself behind a tree and tightened a hoodie that concealed his face near the parking lot, according to a witness. Moments later, he walked into the parking lot and allegedly slashed the tires of Juan Anzaldo, a man who was dating his wife.
Christmann, then made his way back to his truck and drove it to the parking lot of the nearby Wyndham Hotel. He left the vehicle in the lot before walking back to the employee parking lot.
Within 30 minutes, he’d be chased by a Southwest Airlines employee back to his truck, as someone suspected of murdering Anzaldo.
Details of the night Anzaldo was killed are found in a police affidavit including observations made by police in surveillance video, findings in an investigation and witness testimony.
The murder happened on Nov. 19 at the El Paso International Airport parking lot, where Anzaldo’s body was found. An autopsy revealed he was killed from blunt force trauma to his head.
Police have not said if a weapon was used in the murder.
Bernard Walter Christmann, 49, was arrested on Friday and is charged with murder in connection to Anzaldo’s death. He is being held at the El Paso County Detention Center on a $1.2 million bond.
Christmann allegedly tracked Anzaldo using a website called “True People Search.” And, police say a search of Ford F-150 found notes with Elaine Christmann, his wife, a notes detailing Anzaldo’s phone number and home address. He also allegedly wrote the days and times he was tracking Anzaldo and when would leave and arrive.
Police wrote it was unclear if Elaine Christmann and Bernard Christmann were actually married. Some believed they were divorced. But, during an investigation into the murder, the police learned the two were still married.
Investigators with the El Paso Police Department also searched Christmann’s residence on the West Side where they also discovered the F-150 her husband had allegedly drove before the murder.
Elaine Christmann told investigators she had been dating Anzaldo for one year, according to the affidavit. During an interview, she told investigators she was unsure if her husband was at their residence at the time of the murder.
“Elaine Christmann said that she had worked a long day, and had taken sleeping medication to help her sleep,” the document states. “Elaine Christmann would not tell investigators that (her husband) was not home.”
Police state Christmann allegedly tried contacting her husband the night of the murder.
“Interesting how you’re still out,” Elaine Christmann allegedly texted her husband at 9 p.m.
It is unlikely that Bernard Christmann received her text message as he had allegedly tried to manipulate his device and “attempted to be off-line before the timeframe of the attack.” Police say a forensic analysis of Bernard Christmann’s phone activity put him at the airport during the time of the murder.
“The investigative report was additionally supported from additional messages the Defendant
received during the time of the murder, negating the Defendant’s alibi story that he was on the
west side picking up groceries for an “lnstacart” order,” the affidavit states.
Co-worker chases man after death of Anzaldo
Anzaldo allegedly called a co-worker when he headed to the employee parking lot on Nov. 19. He noticed his tires had been slashed and he called a supervisor.
During the phone call, the co-worker heard a male approach him and then he heard a struggle with cries for help. The co-worker rushed to the parking lot and called on another employee to check with him.
They found Anzaldo’s body near his vehicle and one told the other to follow a man who was wearing dark clothes and a hoodie.
Police allegedly identified Christmann in surveillance video wearing similar clothing and darting across the airport to a truck parked in the Wyndham hotel.
The same video showed the co-worker following after the man. He was identified by his clothing with reflector gear, consistent with a Southwest Airlines employee.
The Southwest Airlines employee shouted for the man to stop several times as he called, according to the affidavit.
Witness allegedly spots Christmann hiding near employee parking lot
A witness who frequently uses the airport allegedly saw Christmann hiding behind a tree near the employee parking lot. The witness stated seeing Christmann wearing dark clothes similar to what investigators identified Christmann wearing the night of the murder.
“It appeared as if he was looking for someone in the employee parking lot,” the witness said. “That his behavior was odd and it scared her.”