PARENTS ALLEGE DEAD GIRL LOST WAY IN FIELDS
Defendants in Towner Murder Case Deny Charge They Starved Daughter
Towner, N.D., Jan 6—Mrs. Walter Zimmerman was recalled to the witness stand today when the trial of her husband, charged with murdering their 7-year-old adopted daughter, Margaret Kottke, was resumed in the district court of McHenry County.
Mrs. Zimmerman commenced her testimony late Saturday afternoon. She followed her husband, the defendant, to the stand. He testified that Margaret Kottke disappeared from their home the night before her body was found in a strawstack on the Zimmerman farm, and that he had made an extended search for her during the night without avail. He testified that she had wandered from the home on other occasions.
It has now developed that the state contends that the child was starved to death in the Zimmerman home, and that the body was taken to the straw stack after the child died. Prosecutor E. R. Sinkler thus far has been able to prove that there was no food in the child's stomach, with the exception of undigested wheat, that rigor mortis which sets in about six hours after death and continues for some 24 or so hours did not set in when the body was found, and did not set in afterwards, going to show that such condition had taken place and all traces of it disappeared before the body was found, although Zimmerman claims that the child was lost only six or eight hours before her body was found, and that the girl's body had commenced to decompose which could not have occurred in the time the defendants claim transpired between the child's disappearance and the finding of her body. It seems that the state is endeavoring to prove that the child died in the Zimmerman home and the body was kept in the house for a day or two, then taken to the strawstack and the alarm that the little girl had disappeared given.
Bismarck Tribune, 1-6-1920