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YOUNGSTOWN Austintown man indicted in death of young woman



Published: Fri, August 30, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The Austintown man could also end up facing a sex-related charge later on.

By BOB JACKSON

VINDICATOR COURTHOUSE REPORTER

YOUNGSTOWN -- Christopher L. Anderson, 34, of South Main Street, Austintown, was indicted Thursday by a Mahoning County grand jury on a charge of murder. He faces 15 years to life in prison, if convicted.

He is accused of killing 22-year-old Amber Zurcher at her apartment on Compass West Drive. Anderson was arrested without incident last week at the Super 8 Motel in Liberty.

A hearing was to be today in common pleas court to determine a bond for him.

Police said Zurcher's body was found on the living room floor of her apartment by her mother around 3:30 p.m. June 6. They said she was strangled early that morning. An unplugged iron was found near the body, but police have not confirmed that the iron cord was the murder weapon.

Sex-related charge

Township police had also charged Anderson with attempted rape, but he was not indicted on that charge.

Assistant Prosecutor Timothy Franken said Anderson will probably be indicted again on a sex-related charge, but prosecutors have not yet received results of forensics tests that were done on Zurcher's body.

Those results will determine whether he is charged with attempted rape or another charge, Franken said.

Police have said there were no signs of a struggle in the apartment.

Anderson was among seven people who went to Zurcher's apartment between 1 and 2 a.m. June 6 after spending time at a nearby sports bar. Alcohol was served at the apartment. Police found no evidence of drugs in Zurcher's blood.

The get-together ended around 3:30 a.m, police said. Around 4 a.m., one of Zurcher's neighbors heard a scream for help in the apartment building. The neighbor didn't have a phone and didn't call police.

Police questioned each of the people who were at the apartment, including Anderson.

bjackson@vindy.com




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