Coroner releases autopsy findings in sword death of woman, unborn child


YORK, Pa. (WHTM) – The York County coroner’s office has released autopsy results in the death of a woman and her unborn child.

Diana Ziegler, 25, died of multiple sharp force trauma and her unborn baby daughter died because of the sudden traumatic death of her mother, Coroner Pam Gay said Monday. Both deaths were ruled homicide.

Northern York County Regional Police say 31-year-old John Ziegler III called 911 Friday afternoon and told a dispatcher he had killed his wife with a sword. Responding officers found Ziegler on the porch of his home in the 1100 block of Ledge Lane, in Jackson Township, and his wife’s body on a rear deck. A black sword covered with blood was found near the body.

John Ziegler admitted to police in an interview that he struck his wife up to three times with the sword, according to charging documents. The complaint does not provide a motive for the killing.

He is charged with criminal homicide and criminal homicide of an unborn child. He’s in York County Prison without bail.

Investigators said Diana Ziegler was 24 weeks pregnant.

A 2-year-old at the home was not harmed. That child is in protective custody.Get breaking news, weather and traffic on the go. Download our News App and our Weather App for your phone and tablet.

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