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Two Arrested For San Jose Cold Case Murder Unsolved For 25 Years

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A patchwork quilt which was found with the body of Cathy Zimmer in 1989. (Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office)

A patchwork quilt which was found with the body of Cathy Zimmer in 1989. (Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office)

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SAN JOSE (KCBS) – The husband and the brother-in-law of a woman found wrapped in a quilt and strangled to death inside a car parked near the San Jose airport 25 years ago have been arrested in connection with her murder, authorities announced Friday.

David Zimmer, 66, was taken into custody almost exactly a quarter century to the day after his wife Cathy disappeared on March 8, 1989, said a spokesman for the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.

Prosecutors said Zimmer’s 69-year-old brother, Robert, has been held without bail since his arraignment last week on charges related to the murder.

Investigators declined to provide specifics on what led them to charge the two men in the case.

“It can be a combination of investigative leads that are looked into again, physical evidence that’s looked at many years later with the benefit of new technology, and having the time to put into these cases,” said Ted Kajani, the deputy district attorney in charge of the Cold Case Unit.

Two days after Cathy Zimmer disappeared, her car was found at a short-term parking lot at the airport. Inside was her body, covered with a colorful patchwork quilt that investigators recently revealed was a significant clue in solving the case.

“We do not forget victims, nor do we ever give up on justice,” said Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen in a written statement.

David Zimmer profited from his wife’s death, collecting $225,000 from the sale of their home and $183,000 from two life insurance policies, according to Rosen’s office.

The couple was raising two teenagers while she worked as a real estate agent and attended classes at San Jose State University.

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