Georgia Pastor Arrested In 40-Year-Old Murder Case
Gretchen Harrington disappeared from Marple Township, Pennsylvania in 1975. And now, over 40 years later, an arrest has been made in the case.
David Zandstra, an 83-year-old man from Marietta, Georgia, has been charged with multiple offenses. The offenses include criminal homicide and first-degree murder in the killing of 8-year-old Gretchen Harrington.
According to CBS News, Zandstra confessed to the crime in an interview last week. Zandstra was still working as a pastor at the time of his arrest. He had served as the reverend at Trinity Chapel on Lawrence Road, Harrington’s church, in 1975.
Harrington was walking to bible school in August 1975. Her father had been watching as she walked up the road, but once she was out of his sight, Zandstra invited her into his car. He later beat her to death and dumped her remains.
Zandstra was a friend of the family who not only participated in searches for the young girl, but also presided over her funeral.
The case had gone cold, but was revived in 2017.
Currently, Zandstra is in jail here in Georgia, but is fighting for extradition to Pennsylvania. But that process could take up to two months.
Zandstra has worked at various churches throughout the years, in both Texas and Georgia. He is being investigated for other potential child sex abuse instances.
Gretchen Harrington was walking to Bible camp in 1975 when she vanished. https://t.co/w4SAIoE034— WSB-TV (@wsbtv) July 25, 2023