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Husband arrested in 'Quilt Cold Case' murder

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Two brothers in Northern California face murder charges in the case of a woman found strangled to death in her car nearly 25 years ago, authorities said Friday.

David Zimmer, 66, of Half Moon Bay, was arrested Friday in the slaying of his estranged wife, Cathy Zimmer. Her body was found wrapped in a patchwork quilt in the backseat of her Chrysler New Yorker in a parking lot at San Jose International Airport in 1989, the Santa Clara County district attorney's office said.

David Zimmer's brother, Robert Zimmer, 69, of Santa Clara, was arrested last week on similar charges.

Their arrests come a month after investigators released new evidence in hopes of finally solving the case: photos of the large, colorful quilt that covered Cathy Zimmer's body when she was found March 10, 1989.

Prosecutors said an investigation revealed the couple was going through a separation at the time Cathy Zimmer was killed. The 38-year-old mother of two worked part-time at a real estate office and took classes at San Jose State University, where she was last seen two days before her body was discovered.

Within a month of his wife's slaying, David Zimmer sold their home for more than $225,000 and collected from two life insurance policies totaling $183,000, authorities said.

Yet evidence also linked Robert Zimmer to the case, according to court documents. Evidence found “in an intimate area” of an item of Cathy Zimmer's clothing matched Robert Zimmer's DNA profile, investigators wrote in a court affidavit.

Robert Zimmer told his daughter that he had met with Cathy Zimmer on the day she was killed, that he was in the car with Cathy Zimmer because he was worried about her, and that he was concerned that his fingerprints would be found in the car, thus implicating him in her murder, investigators wrote.

During an interview with investigators two months ago, the court document said, Robert Zimmer told them that had had no personal or sexual relationship with Cathy Zimmer. When asked if he was ever alone in a car with Cathy Zimmer, he stated that he “did not recall.”

David Zimmer was scheduled to be arraigned next week. Robert Zimmer already has made an initial appearance in court and is due back April 18.

Both are being held without bail. It was not known if they had retained lawyers who could be reached for comment.

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