Charges expected Tuesday in kidnapping, death of young girl

Published 7:48 am Tuesday, August 23, 2016

LITCHFIELD — Criminal charges are expected soon against a suspect in the kidnapping and killing a 5-year-old girl from central Minnesota.

Zachary Todd Anderson is being held in the Crow Wing County Jail in the death of Alayna Ertl. Alayna was last seen around 2 a.m. Saturday when she was put to bed at her home in Watkins, about 70 miles northwest of Minneapolis. Her mother reported her missing at 8 a.m. Anderson, a family friend, was also missing. The 26-year-old Monticello man had been spending the night with the Ertl family.

Anderson was found later Saturday at a cabin his family owns near Motley, about 80 miles to the north. Authorities say he provided information that led to the discovery of Alayna’s body, which was found near the cabin.

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