According to a report from the police department, a man from Minnesota was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping and killing his coworker’s 5-year-old daughter before dumping her body in the woods.
It was made known that the suspect, 25-year-old Zachary Todd Anderson, who was friends with the young girl’s parents, was staying overnight in the family’s home when he disappeared with 5-year-old Alayna Ertl and her father’s truck.
Authorities tracked the truck to a cabin Anderson owns about 90 minutes north of Alayna’s Watkins, Minn. home, and found Anderson alone in a wooded area about a quarter mile away.
According to a statement from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. Anderson told the officers where to find Alayna’s body in a “swampy wooded area a few hundred yards from the cabin,” the statement said.
Anderson was immediately arrested and has since been held on suspicion of murder and kidnapping. He was awaiting charges and was expected to make his first court appearance early this week. It was not immediately clear if he had a lawyer, the Associated Press reported.
Anderson worked with Ertl’s father at Vanguard, a company that locates underground utility lines, Meeker County Sheriff Brian Cruze said .Investigators are working to determine a motive.
“We are at a loss as to why this happened at this time,” Cruze said.