Indiana woman sentenced to prison for 2016 Mercer County homicide

MERCER COUNTY — A 30-year-old Indiana woman has been sentenced to prison in connection to the killing of Ryan Zimmerman, whose remains were found in Mercer County in 2016.

Sarah Buzzard, 30, of Marion, Indiana, was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison, according to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

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Online court records showed that she pleaded guilty last month to a single charge of aggravated murder.

Buzzard was arrested in August 2021. WHIO previously reported that Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey said Buzzard “confessed to strangling and dismembering Ryan’s body.”

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Zimmerman’s remains were found just off U.S. 127 in the West Bank State Park in January 2016.

Deputies identified Naria Jenna Whitaker, 33, of Marion, Indiana as a second suspect, and when police attempted to arrest her in August, she died by suicide.