updated 3/24/2004 8:58:11 PM ET 2004-03-25T01:58:11

A photographer was charged Wednesday with stabbing a Canadian porn star to death and dumping her body in the woods — a slaying that may have been part of a sexual bondage fantasy, authorities said.

Photographer Anthony Joseph Frederick was last seen with the victim in the area where a bondage-themed photo shoot took place, authorities said. He was charged with murder, abuse of a corpse and possession of a knife, and was held without bail, prosecutors said.

As he was led from a courthouse, Frederick told reporters he was innocent.

Natel King, the 23-year-old porn star also known by the stage name Taylor Sumers, died of multiple stab wounds to the chest, neck and hands, prosecutor Bruce Castor said.

Her body was wrapped in a blue drape backdrop similar to the type used by photographers, and she was found with a gagging device and a leather strap attached to her head.

“Obviously, she put up a fight against her attacker,” Castor said at a news conference. “I believe, and investigators believe, that she met her demise at the hands of Anthony Frederick, as part of a sexual bondage fantasy.”

Castor said there may have also been a dispute over money. Authorities said it was not clear exactly where and when the killing took place.

Castor said Frederick, 46, was also charged with making false statements to police about the death of King, who had been missing for more than three weeks.

Jennifer Mitkus, 29, was charged with making false statements to police and hindering apprehension. Authorities said she was Frederick’s assistant.

It was not immediately clear whether Frederick or Mitkus had lawyers and neither defendant could be reached for comment. The two were awaiting initial hearings.

Frederick was arrested around midnight Tuesday, less than a day after King’s body was found in a rocky, heavily wooded area near the Schuylkill River in suburban Philadelphia, Castor said.

Frederick told investigators he took 20 digital photos of King on Feb. 29. He and Mitkus said King was paid $900 and they left. King was never heard from again.

Photos that Frederick provided show King displaying bondage paraphernalia, including a gag device with a red ball and a leather strap. A similar device was attached to King’s head when her body was found, authorities said.

After weeks of waiting for information about their missing daughter, King’s family was told Wednesday that Natel was dead: “I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy,” said her father, Daniel King.

King said he was aware of Natel King’s adult film activities, which they said she was doing to help pay for college studies in psychology.

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