‘This Man Is Evil’: Ex-Pastor Charged with 1975 Murder of Eight-Year-Old Pennsylvania Girl Walking to Church

this man is evil ex pastor charged with 1975 murder of eight year old pennsylvania girl walking to church
Delaware County District Attorney's Office

A former pastor has been arrested in connection to the 1975 murder of an eight-year-old girl named Gretchen Harrington in Marple Township, Pennsylvania.

Officials arrested and charged 83-year-old David Zandstra of Marietta, Georgia, once he allegedly confessed to killing the child after they presented fresh evidence to him, the New York Daily News reported Tuesday.

In a press release Monday, the County of Delaware’s Office of the District Attorney detailed the case and charges against the suspect that include criminal homicide, murder of the first, second, and third degree, as well as kidnapping of a minor and the possession of an instrument of crime.

“Justice has been a long time coming, but we are proud and grateful to finally be able to give the community an answer,” District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer commented.

Among the fresh evidence were claims by a witness who accused the man of groping and trying to kidnap another little girl.

On August 15, 1975, Harrington vanished while she was walking from her residence to a Bible school event nearby.

At the time, Zandstra was a pastor at Trinity Christian Reformed Church. He allegedly drove up beside the child and offered her a ride to her destination.

According to the district attorney’s office, the man was in charge of transporting children between Trinity and another nearby church for the event.

He is accused of taking the girl to a secluded area and demanding she disrobe. However, she refused to comply and he allegedly beat her to death, then tried to hide her body before fleeing the scene.

“On October 14, 1975, skeletal remains were located within the Ridley Creek State Park. The remains were subsequently identified as those of Gretchen Harrington,” the district attorney’s office continued.

Zandstra was arrested in Georgia but denied bail. He is being held behind bars in Cobb County, Georgia.

“The defendant refused to waive extradition to Pennsylvania. The District Attorney’s office will be submitting a petition for requisition which will be sent to Governor Shapiro for his approval,” the agency said.

“Troopers went down to Georgia, interviewed Mr. Zandstra, and he admitted to everything we have said here today. He murdered with his bare hands this poor young girl and then lied about it for 48 years,” Stollsteimer told reporters.

“This man is evil. He killed this poor eight-year-old girl he knew and who trusted him, and then he acted as if he was a family friend, not only during her burial and the period after that, but for years,” he added:

After living in Pennsylvania, Zandstra also resided in Plano, Texas, and later Marietta, Georgia.

“Anyone with additional information about Zandstra’s activities when he was living in Texas or in Georgia are asked to call the Pennsylvania State Police,” the district attorney’s office said.

Authored by Amy Furr via Breitbart July 25th 2023