Watkins, MN: Alayna Ertl, 5, Kidnapped From Bedroom, MURDERED

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Minneapolis Star Tribune‎ – Alayna Ertl, the sandy-haired 5-year-old girl who went missing from her Watkins home early Saturday morning, was found dead in rural Cass County later that afternoon.

A preliminary autopsy by the Ramsey County Medical Examiner said Alayna Ertl died of “homicidal violence.”

Zachary T. Anderson, of Monticello, is being held without bail in the Crow Wing County jail in Brainerd awaiting charges this week. The 25-year-old is being held on probable cause murder and kidnapping.

Alayna’s body was discovered on property near Motley owned by Anderson’s family, about 80 miles north of Watkins. Anderson, who was arrested on the property, is expected to make his first court appearance in Cass County District Court on Monday or Tuesday.

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