Missing 5-year-old girl found dead in Cass County; suspect in custody


BRAINERD, Minn. -- A 25-year-old man suspected of abducting and killing a family friend’s 5-year-old daughter Saturday is jailed in a central Minnesota county jail and is now accused of murder and kidnapping.

Zachary Todd Anderson, of Monticello, Minn., is currently being held in the Crow Wing County Jail in Brainerd awaiting charges expected later this week in connection with the death of Alayna Ertl. Anderson was booked into jail around 10 p.m. Saturday on suspicion of first-degree murder and kidnapping charges, according to the jail log.

Ertl was found deceased in the southern portion of Wilderness Park Estates, a residential park located about three miles east of the village of Leader, Minn. The park is located in Meadowbrook Township in southern Cass County, about 35 miles northwest of Brainerd.



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