Preliminary autopsy report released for Zimmerman homicide |

Preliminary autopsy report released for Zimmerman homicide

Lucas M. Johnson
courtesy/ Routt County Sheriff’s Office

— A preliminary autopsy report released Tuesday shows that longtime Routt County resident Edward Zimmerman was brutally killed.

The report states Zimmerman died from massive blood loss and “sharp force injuries of the neck.”

Contributing to his death were blunt force injuries to the head, a gunshot wound to the face and “manual” strangulation.

The report classifies Zimmerman’s manner of death as a homicide and that he died within minutes.

The report does not say where Zimmerman’s body was found.

Authorities have released few details about the case, and many court records have been sealed.

Routt County Undersheriff Ray Birch said Tuesday that Zimmerman’s body was found March 4 at about 12:15 a.m.

Lucas Johnson and his wife, Kristen Johnson, are being held at the Routt County Jail on suspicion of charges related to Zimmerman’s death.

Lucas Johnson was arrested March 3 during a traffic stop. According to the Sheriff’s Office, he was driving Zimmerman’s car. Birch said Tuesday that deputies then followed up on leads and located Zimmerman’s body.

Lucas Johnson is being held on suspicion of first-degree murder, felony aggravated motor vehicle theft and felony possession of more than 12 ounces of marijuana. He is now scheduled to be in court at 1 p.m. Monday. The District Attorney’s Office has until Friday to file formal charges against him.

Kristen Johnson returns to court at 1:30 p.m. March 26. Formal charges also have to be filed against her by March 26.

Zimmerman was reported missing Feb. 28 after he did not show up for work the two previous days. Zimmerman’s sister, Robin Mizerak, told the Steamboat Today that her brother’s gun was missing from his house between Steamboat Springs and Stagecoach. She also reported that marijuana had been stolen from her brother’s home.

Zimmerman was reportedly growing medical marijuana in his home.

According to court documents filed by attorneys representing the Johnsons, the District Attorney’s Office is attempting to lay out a motive for Zimmerman’s untimely death by asserting that the destruction or theft of his marijuana plants was for financial gain.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

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