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Minnesota man accused in 5-year-old girl's death indicted by grand jury

WALKER, Minn. -- A grand jury has indicted a Coon Rapids man for the murder of 5-year-old Alayna Jeanne Ertl this past August. Zachary Todd Anderson, 25, was arraigned Friday in Cass County District Court in Walker for premeditated first-degree m...

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WALKER, Minn. - A grand jury has indicted a Coon Rapids man for the murder of 5-year-old Alayna Jeanne Ertl this past August. Zachary Todd Anderson, 25, was arraigned Friday in Cass County District Court in Walker for premeditated first-degree murder and numerous other charges in the death of the Watkins girl.
 Overall, the grand jury indicted Anderson on 19 counts, including eight counts of first-degree murder, one count of second-degree intentional murder, four counts of kidnapping, two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, one count of theft of a vehicle and two counts of interference with a dead body. If convicted, Anderson could be sentenced to life in prison. According to the criminal complaint against Anderson, Meeker County Sheriff's Office deputies received a report at 10 a.m. Aug. 20 of a missing child. Ertl's parents told deputies she had been put to bed at 2 a.m. Aug. 20 and at 8 a.m. both the girl and a guest who had spent the night, Anderson, were gone. The parents' white GMC Sierra truck also was missing with the father's cellphone inside. Cass County sheriff's deputies located the stolen vehicle on property owned by Anderson's family in rural Cass County. No one was inside the vehicle or a cabin on the property, the BCA stated. Additional law enforcement responded to the property and Anderson was located that day at 4:24 p.m. by K-9 officers in a wooded area about a quarter mile from the cabin on the 4900 block of Iroquois Trail Loop Southwest, near Leader. Anderson did not attempt to flee, he did not have a weapon and did not resist arrest. Information provided by the suspect as well as additional investigative efforts led law enforcement to Alayna's remains in a swampy wooded area a few hundred yards from the cabin. She was pronounced deceased at the scene.WALKER, Minn. - A grand jury has indicted a Coon Rapids man for the murder of 5-year-old Alayna Jeanne Ertl this past August.Zachary Todd Anderson, 25, was arraigned Friday in Cass County District Court in Walker for premeditated first-degree murder and numerous other charges in the death of the Watkins girl.
 Overall, the grand jury indicted Anderson on 19 counts, including eight counts of first-degree murder, one count of second-degree intentional murder, four counts of kidnapping, two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, one count of theft of a vehicle and two counts of interference with a dead body.If convicted, Anderson could be sentenced to life in prison.According to the criminal complaint against Anderson, Meeker County Sheriff's Office deputies received a report at 10 a.m. Aug. 20 of a missing child. Ertl's parents told deputies she had been put to bed at 2 a.m. Aug. 20 and at 8 a.m. both the girl and a guest who had spent the night, Anderson, were gone. The parents' white GMC Sierra truck also was missing with the father's cellphone inside.Cass County sheriff's deputies located the stolen vehicle on property owned by Anderson's family in rural Cass County. No one was inside the vehicle or a cabin on the property, the BCA stated.Additional law enforcement responded to the property and Anderson was located that day at 4:24 p.m. by K-9 officers in a wooded area about a quarter mile from the cabin on the 4900 block of Iroquois Trail Loop Southwest, near Leader. Anderson did not attempt to flee, he did not have a weapon and did not resist arrest.Information provided by the suspect as well as additional investigative efforts led law enforcement to Alayna's remains in a swampy wooded area a few hundred yards from the cabin. She was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Related Topics: CRIME
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