John Ziegler III of York County, Pennsylvania, has been charged with homicide after allegedly killing his 24-week-pregnant wife with a sword on Friday afternoon. The 35-year-old man reportedly called 911 himself to report the horrific crime, calmly waiting at the scene of the murder, along with his 2-year-old son, for first responders to arrive.
The chilling murder allegedly committed by John Ziegler III was reported to Jackson Township, Pennsylvania police just after 4:00 p.m. on Friday, reports Fox 43. During the call to police, Ziegler reportedly told dispatchers that he had hit his 25-year-old pregnant wife several times with his sword, and that she had died from her injuries.
First responders claim that the 35-year-old Pennsylvania husband was waiting outside of the couple’s home when police arrived on the scene, toddler son in tow. Fortunately, the 2-year-old boy was completely uninjured in the domestic violence situation that led to the death of his mother and unborn sibling. First responders reportedly took custody of the Ziegler’s 2-year-old son, turning him over to York County Children, Youth, and Families in the aftermath of the horrific violence that rocked his family.
Responding Jackson Township police reported that John Ziegler III surrendered to officers peacefully and without incident when they arrived at the scene of the murder, the house the couple and their toddler had shared. Then, officers entered the home; after a cursory search of the property, they discovered the wife of John Ziegler III, dead on the home’s rear deck.
Tragically, her 24-week fetus was also determined to be dead at the scene of the murder. According to detectives involved in the case, the sword described as the murder weapon by Pennsylvania husband John Ziegler III was found near the murdered remains of his wife. Police have described the sword as being a “Scimitar-style weapon.”
Police did not initially release the name of John Ziegler III’s wife and murder victim, pending notification of next-of-kin. However, as ABC 27 reports, she has now been identified as 25-year-old Diana Ziegler. Police have noted that her cause of death was traumatic injury related to the sword attack the victim allegedly endured at the hands of her husband. However, more specific details about the deaths of the Pennsylvania woman and her 24-week-gestation fetus will be made public following an autopsy, which has been scheduled for Monday morning.
In the criminal complaint filed against Pennsylvania husband John Ziegler III, a grisly crime scene is described. According to charging documents filed by Northern York County Regional Police, who are handling the murder investigation, the injuries sustained by Diana Ziegler were quite severe. As York Daily Review reports, Detective Mark E. Baker claims that the victim suffered fatal neck and head injuries.
According to the detective, the weapon in question was a “black sword, approximately 4 inches wide which was covered with blood,” and the blows to the victim were delivered with such force that skull fragments were found amongst the blood on the deck near her body. Baker wrote in his report that the wounds suffered by Diana Ziegler would have caused “certain” death.
Detective Baker reportedly questioned John Ziegler III on Friday night, just hours after Ziegler called 911 to report that he’d murdered his wife. According to the detective, the suspect confessed to the crime, stating that he hit his wife three times in the head and neck with the sword.
Despite his alleged admission of guilt, the police complaint against John Ziegler III did not include a motive for the murder allegedly perpetrated by the Pennsylvania husband.
“What led to it and what occurred during it, that’s still under investigation.”
The York County Coroner’s Office confirmed on Saturday that the sword attack was also directly responsible for the death of Diana Ziegler’s fetus, reportedly a female aged approximately 24-weeks-gestation.
Pennsylvania husband John Ziegler III has been charged with criminal homicide and criminal homicide of an unborn child; he remains in York County Prison without bail.
[Featured Image by York County Prison]