St Louis News

Man charged months after 28-year-old found dead in Missouri woods

POTOSI, Mo. — A Potosi mother would not accept that her son died by suicide last March. After nearly a year of demanding answers, there’s been an arrest for her son’s murder.

Kim Little will never forget her 28-year-old son’s last text message, in which he named a person he was with and said, “Help me please.”

“The coroner was telling me the day of my son’s autopsy that they were thinking it was a suicide,” Little explained.

Her son, Christian Hildebrandt, had special needs but lived independently until he was found in the woods, stabbed to death on March 11, 2021. As FOX 2 reported in September, Hildebrandt’s mother refused to accept it was suicide.

Little said, “If I’d have just shut up and accepted what they told me in the beginning this would have never got done and I think getting you involved is what really pushed it over the edge when they knew they couldn’t hide.”

The Sheriff told FOX 2 at the time that they were investigating it as a homicide and that he’d even brought in the Major Case Squad. About ten months since the death, Derek Politte has been arrested and charged for Hildrebrandt’s murder. Kim Little took a picture of the 58-year-old suspect being walked into the courthouse.

“I had kind of mixed emotions Chris,” Little said. “On one hand it’s like finally, it’s what I’ve been saying all along got heard, but I wish we weren’t here to begin with.”

The felony complaint includes Hildebrandt’s final mysterious text message that read, “Help me please left with Derek policy.”

The court record further explains, “Talk-to-text functions on cellular devices will commonly replace the word Politte with the word policy.”

She said Hildebrandt was excited about a job proposition from Politte who was going to pick him up that day.

An officer wrote that Politte gave police contradictory statements and that when investigators found Hildebrandt dead, “His denim jacket was located underneath his upper body with both sleeves turned inside-out, indicating some type of struggle.”

A judge today ruled the defendant will remain in custody on a $1 million bond.

Little sighed in reaction saying, “The breath I took, I think I held my breath until he said that. I hope in the wake of this I’m able to live up to what Christian was – in his honor.”

The defendant’s preliminary hearing is set for April 15.

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