Former Church Minister Charged With 1975 Murder of Gretchen Harrington
Gretchen Harrington Murder Key Points:
• Gretchen Harrington was walking to summer Bible school on August 15, 1975, when she was abducted.
• Her skeletal remains were found in Ridley Creek State Park on October 14, 1975.
• The cause of her death was injuries to her head.
• David Zandstra, a former minister at the church Gretchen attended, was charged with her murder in 2023.
• Zandstra was taken into custody in Georgia and is being held in Cobb County jail.
• He is fighting extradition to Pennsylvania, where he will be tried for murder.
In 1975, 8-year-old Gretchen Harrington was abducted and murdered.
Her body was found in a state park a few months later. The case went cold for decades, but a former church minister has now been charged with her murder.
David Zandstra, a former minister at the church Gretchen attended, has been charged with her murder.
David Zandstra, a former minister at the church Gretchen attended, has been charged with her murder. Zandstra was taken into custody in Georgia on July 17, 2023. He is being held in Cobb County, Georgia, where he has been denied bail.
The charges against Zandstra have brought a sense of closure to Broomall, the community where Gretchen was abducted and murdered.
Chief Brandon Graeff of the Police Department in Marple Township, which includes Broomall, said at a news conference that Gretchen’s murder had “transformed this community.”
“Pre-August 1975, it was Any Town, U.S.A.,” he said. “Post- that day, it changed everything for the kids, for the parents, for the families, for everybody because nobody could do anything anymore in the innocence that they used to do it before this happened.”
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