A 30-year-old Ohio woman could spend the rest of her life behind bars for brutally killing a Kentucky man in 2016, then dismembering and dumping him in a state park. Judge of the General Pleas Court Jeffrey R. Ingraham sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of pardon after 30 years to Sarah E. Buzzard to kill Ryan R. ZimmermanFort Wayne Branch CBS WANT-TV report.
Buzzard was arrested in August 2021, nearly six years after killing Zimmerman, and charged with 18 counts, including two counts of murder, four counts of tampering with evidence, felony abuse of a corpse, and felony felony assault. Last week, she reportedly reached a settlement with the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, where she pleaded guilty to a aggravated murder charge in exchange for other charges against her being dropped.
Buzzard spoke in court before the verdict was passed, each Lima NBC/Fox affiliate WLIO.
“There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t want the chance to take it all back,” Buzzard said. “I accept responsibility for the role I played in Ryan’s death, and I will live every day for the rest of my life trying to redeem myself with positive actions and deeds.”
Zimmerman’s sister, Manda MooreRead a victim impact statement in which she says her kids “will never know their Uncle Ryan.”
“They will never be able to talk to him, and see the similarities that I see that they have with him. They will never play those games with him, and they will love them so much,” she reported.
According to reports, a person walking his dog along Coldwater Creek in West Bank State Park in January 2016 discovered what they believe to be human bones and contacted police. Most of the remains have not been found, and are believed to have mostly come from human bodies. Investigators are said to be unable to identify the victim until a forensic anthropologist in June 2020 was able to correctly identify the remains as that of 21-year-old Zimmerman.
Investigators were then able to track Zimmerman back to Kentucky, where his parents told police he had moved to Columbus before disappearing. According to WANE, it is known that Zimmerman met Buzzard’s ex-husband on social media and moved in with the couple just weeks before his death.
After receiving and executing several search warrants on social media companies, investigators are said to have located the exact location in Columbus where Zimmerman was killed and dismembered with a saw. His body was then transported in a Buzzard-owned vehicle to Mercer County, where it was dumped in a state park.
Mercer County Sheriff’s Office detectives last summer executed a search warrant for Buzzard’s home, which she shared with then-33-year-old wife Naria Jenna Whitaker. When Whitaker was confronted by five members of the sheriff’s office involved in Zimmerman’s death, she “pulled a shotgun from her pocket and shot herself,” according to the sheriff’s office. report from Mercer County’s WBAT radio station. She is presumed dead at the scene from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Buzzard was arrested that day.
In an interview with sheriff’s detectives, Buzzard confessed that she strangled and dismembered Zimmerman, according to WBAT. According to the report, she said that Whitaker assisted her in the murder. Her ex-husband is not believed to be a suspect in the murder.
[image via Mercer County Sheriff’s Office]
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https://lawandcrime.com/crime/ohio-woman-gets-life-sentence-for-murdering-and-dismembering-21-year-old-whose-torso-was-found-in-state-park/ Sarah E. Buzzard Lived For Killing Ryan R. Zimmerman