Police are looking for a man suspected of burglarizing the Main Line apartment of a 36-year-old model last weekend in connection with her slaying, a law enforcement source said Friday.
Police investigating the burglary found Christina Carlin-Kraft's body Wednesday night after recovering some of her stolen goods in Southwest Philadelphia and going to her Ardmore apartment, the source said.
The source said Carlin-Kraft reported a burglary at her apartment Saturday morning after a night out in Center City. She told investigators she took a ride-share to dinner at the Sofitel hotel on Friday night, but couldn't remember how she returned home, according to the source.
Surveillance video from her building shows Carlin-Kraft returning early Saturday, propped up by a man police subsequently identified during the burglary investigation. That man is seen later that morning leaving the building with bags believed to be filled with Carlin-Kraft's belongings.
On Wednesday, Philadelphia police helped Lower Merion officers serve a search warrant at the man's home in the 6500 block of Theodore Street in Southwest Philadelphia's Elmwood section, the source said.
There, they took another man and a woman into custody for narcotics possession, and discovered items reported missing by Carlin-Kraft, including designer purses, jewelry, and a Gucci belt, the source said.
They also found evidence that the credit cards Carlin-Kraft had reported stolen in the burglary had been used in Philadelphia and Delaware County by people at the Theodore Street address.
Investigators went to the Ardmore apartment Wednesday evening to speak with Carlin-Kraft, only to find her dead. An autopsy determined she had died from "ligature strangulation," meaning the killer used some type of cord.
Other surveillance footage shows the suspect entering the Ardmore apartment with Carlin-Kraft on Wednesday, but does not show him leaving, the source said. It's possible that he jumped from the balcony of Carlin-Kraft's second-floor apartment at the Cambridge Square building on Sibley Avenue.
In announcing the slaying Thursday, officials said area residents had no apparent reason to be concerned for their safety.
In her profile on Model Mayhem, a website for professional models and photographers, Carlin-Kraft listed New York as her home and said her credits included photo shoots for David Yurman, Vanity Fair, Victoria's Secret, Playboy, Maxim, and QVC.
"I really do enjoy photoshoots for swim wear and tastefull lingerie," she wrote.
Stuart Kraft of Egg Harbor Township, N.J., Carlin-Kraft's father, declined to speak with a reporter Friday morning.
Another relative, who asked that her name be withheld as the family mourns, said Carlin-Kraft had "a beautiful heart and made everyone laugh."
Her presence lit up a room, the woman said, and her stunning features always turned heads.
"She was just a good person," she said. "And our family misses her dearly."
Carlin-Kraft grew up in Northfield, Atlantic County. Aside from her modeling career, she occasionally worked as a interior designer.
She had told her family she enjoyed her neighborhood in Ardmore and felt safe there.
"This is just completely unexpected," the relative said. "We never thought this could happen."
A longtime friend of the victim's said Friday that Carlin-Kraft had been living in the apartment for the better part of a year.
The unit is owned by Carlin-Kraft's boyfriend, a Wall Street banker who grew up in Wynnewood, said the friend, who asked not to be identified. The couple had been together for about nine years, having met while Carlin-Kraft worked as a waitress at the Borgata in Atlantic City.
"She was just delightful, the sweetest person," the friend said. "The whole thing is just shocking."
The friend, who works as a contractor, had often visited the apartment to help fix minor issues.
Crime-scene tape still cordoned off a grassy stretch adjacent to the building Friday morning.
In 2016, Carlin-Kraft found herself in the gossip pages following an altercation at a Manhattan restaurant.
According to the New York Post, she was charged with hitting a waiter at an Upper West Side restaurant in a dispute over the bill. Prosecutors dismissed misdemeanor charges of assault, attempted assault, and harassment on the condition that she stay out of trouble for six months.