Police are searching for the man who broke into and robbed the home of a former Playboy model, who was found murdered in her bedroom on Wednesday night.
Andre Melton, 31, is wanted for burglarizing the Pennsylvania apartment of 36-year-old model Christina Kraft, days before she was killed.
Kraft had just moved into her condo on Sibley Avenue in the west side suburb of Ardmore a week ago, her neighbors say.
She called police on Sunday to report a robbery where her designer bags and jewelry were stolen.
Police used surveillance footage at the apartment complex to connect robbery to Melton, who was believed to be driving a rented 2018 burgundy Kia Sorento with Virginia license plates, according to ABC.
That car was spotted in the neighborhood on Friday afternoon.
After authorities linked the surveillance footage to Melton, a search warrant was issued to his home in Southwest Philadelphia Wednesday morning where her belongings were found, but Melton was not.
It was later that night at 9.15pm that she was discovered dead.
Police say surveillance cameras at the apartment show a man following Kraft into the building the night before she was discovered strangled to death in her bedroom.
However the man is not seen on surveillance footage leaving the apartment and cops believe he likely escaped by jumping off the balcony.
Police have not identified that man. Investigators are also not sure if the robbery and the murder are connected.
Melton is not being named a suspect in her murder case as police are yet to list potential suspect names.
Lower Merion Township Police made the shocking discovery of her body when they performed a welfare check on the brunette bombshell Wednesday evening and found her dead in bed.
Police have not confirmed who initiated the wellness check.
An autopsy report revealed the lingerie model died by ‘ligature strangulation.’ As of Friday, police had not made any arrests.
Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele and Lower Merion Township Police Superintendent Michael McGrath confirmed in a Thursday statement there does not appear to be a threat to other residents of the upmarket neighborhood at this time.
A resident who also lives in the building told Philly.com that Kraft just moved a week ago.
Ardmore resident, Dave Farina, was utterly shocked to learn of the homicide in his community, which he has long considered safe.
‘We never had that type of thing in Ardmore. Hardly ever. It’s enough to make me cry,’ Farina said in a statement to ABC 6.
‘I’m praying for them that they find out who did it… and bring them to justice.’
Aside from her stint with Playboy, the model appeared in Maxim Magazine, Vanity Fair, Victoria’s Secret and Smashbox Cosmetics during her glamorous career, her Model Mayhem bio states.
Kraft described her nationality as Russian, German, with a hint of Swedish in her professional bio.
She said in the bio: ‘I’ve done runway shows, print work, commercials for jewelry and evening gowns, and I did a tasteful photo shoot for Playboy that was beyond Hollywood glamour!
‘I would like to build my portfolio with some more creative photographers who specialize in glamour and very high fashion!
‘I really do enjoy photo shoots for swim wear and tasteful lingerie. I’m willing to travel and I love to meet new exciting people with high energy and a kind heart.
‘I look forward to working with you and hope to make this a great experience!’
In 2016, Kraft was slapped with temporary assault charges after she drunkenly attacked a restaurant manager while dining with a male friend in New York in March of that year.
The bizarre incident happened at The Smith, an American Brasserie on the Upper West Side.
The assaulted manager, Sergey Anokhin, said he was left with ‘redness and substantial pain’ after Kraft struck him in the back and kicked him in the groin.
‘The guy didn’t want to pay… the manager interceded,’ a source told the New York Post about the violent incident at the time.
‘She was intoxicated, and she claimed that the manager pushed her – but there was video of the incident that showed she was lying.’
Prosecutors in September 2016 offered to drop charges against Kraft – so long as she stayed out of trouble for the following six months.
The five-foot-nine model was pictured in photographs by DailyMail.com wearing a gray A-line dress and patterned white and black pumps for the Manhattan hearing in which her charges were dropped.
Kraft was initially charged with misdemeanor assault, attempted assault and harassment.
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Marlene Lenthang and Jessa Schroeder