Karl Aaron Bemish of Lakewood sentence to life in prison for strangulation of his girlfriend.

A Lakewood man has been sentenced to life in prison for the strangulation death of his girlfriend in her Lakewood home.

Karl Aaron Bemish, 52, was sentenced on Friday after pleading guilty to first-degree murder in the death of 45-year-old Hilary Engel, according to the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office.

“We are thankful for the prosecution’s work on this case, and that even though we continue to grieve the loss of Hilary, we believe this result was the best available outcome,” Engel’s family said in a statement, part of the DA’s news release.

Engel, a nurse, is survived by an 8-year-old son, among family and friends.

On Dec. 29, 2020, Engel was reported missing by her father after she was last seen dropping her son off at daycare the previous morning, the release said. Her body was found inside her Green Mountain area home, hidden underneath a bed.

After the killing, Bemish drove to Trinidad in Engel’s car where he was arrested at a hotel after using her ATM card to get money. In his plea, Bemish admitted to strangling Engel, prosecutors said.

“This is not a case that my office felt appropriate to negotiate,” Senior Deputy District Attorney Amanda Lessman told the court, according to the release. “A plea to Murder One and its coinciding life sentence is appropriate.”

There is no possibility of parole as part of the sentence.

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