Judge Grants To Suppress Statement In Abduction Case
A Cass County judge has ruled to suppress statements made by the man, who was arrested in connection to the kidnapping and murder of 5-year-old Alayna Ertl.
The judge ruled that the investigators improperly questioned Zachary Todd Anderson, and that his first statement to investigators is inadmissible at any trail that he could face.
Anderson faces 19 charges including first-degree murder, kidnapping, criminal sexual conduct, theft and interference with a dead body. Anderson was arrested last August in Cass County after kidnapping the Watkins girl from her home.
Anderson went before a judge April 12 in an attempt to suppress statements that were made to two Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agents when he was arrested.
Anderson stands accused of the murder of 5-year-old Alayna Jeanne Ertl, a girl who had gone missing after Zachary Anderson spent the night at the family home in Watkins, Minnesota, 25 miles southwest of St. Cloud. Mr. Ertl’s white GMC Sierra truck was also missing with his cell phone inside.
Deputies from the Cass County Sheriff’s office 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. Additional law enforcement responded to the property and Anderson was located by K-9 officers in a wooded area about a quarter mile from the cabin at 4926 Iroquois Trail Loop SW. Anderson did not attempt to flee, he did not have a weapon and did not resist arrest.
A preliminary autopsy ruled the cause of death to be homicidal violence due to strangulation and blunt force trauma. The medical examiner also found evidence of a sexual assault perpetrated upon the victim.