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Published: Tuesday, 7/28/2009

$1 million bond set in cold case

WAUSEON - Walter E. Zimbeck II, 42, of Strawberry Plains, Tenn., who was indicted last week on one count each of aggravated murder and murder in a decades-old case involving a 14-year-old Swanton girl, pleaded not guilty Monday during an arraignment in Fulton County Common Pleas Court.

Bond was set at $1 million for Mr. Zimbeck, formerly of Maumee, who is being held in the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio near Stryker. A pretrial conference was set for Oct. 1.

Mr. Zimbeck is an ex-boyfriend of Lori Ann Hill, whose body was found by a hunter in 1985. Sevier County, Tennessee, sheriff's deputies arrested him at his home about 12 miles east of Knoxville July 20.

The arrest and indictment followed an eight-month investigation by the Toledo-Lucas County cold-case unit and the Fulton County Sheriff's Office. Miss Hill disappeared the night of Oct. 25, 1985, after a Halloween party on South Munson Road in Swanton. She was last seen on South Berkey-Southern Road about 100 yards from her home.

Four days later a deer hunter found Miss Hill's naked body in a wooded area about seven miles northeast of Wauseon. She had been beaten with an object such as a tire iron, the coroner ruled.

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