Published October 31 2011
Zornes trial opens; prosecutor says victims in Moorhead slayings stabbed multiple times
Zornes, 38, is accused of killing Megan Londo and John Cadotte on Feb. 19, 2010, and setting fire to the apartment at 901 9th Ave. S., where their burned bodies were found.
Assistant Clay County Attorney Matthew Greenley said a common desire to get from Moorhead to Naytahwaush brought together defendant Zornes and victims Londo and Cadotte on the night of Feb. 18, 2010.
He said a witness saw Cadotte’s little red car pull up to the apartment at 901 9th Ave. S. and saw three people get out, whom she later identified as Zornes, Cadotte and Londo.
After the fire on the following morning, Londo and Cadotte’s bodies were found with their skulls smashed. Each of them had their ears stabbed. Cadotte, 20, was stabbed in the back and Londo, 25, in the heart.
Greenley said Zornes took what few valuables were there and smoke detectors and set fire to the apartment.
“Fire is good at destroying many things, forensic evidence included,” Greenley said.
He did not give a motive for the killings.
Zornes, who was named a person of interest early in the investigation, was found by authorities March 4 in a makeshift shelter in the woods in rural Mahnomen County.
Defense attorney Mara Rausch told jurors that Zornes hid out in the makeshift hut because he had existing warrants out for his arrest.
“There is no direct evidence linking Tracy Zornes to this apartment or to these murders,” Rausch said.
The first witness was a state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension forensics agent.
A five-minute long video of the crime scene was shown to jurors, as well as pictures. Both showed gruesome images of Cadotte’s lifeless body in the living room and Londo’s charred remains in the bedroom.
The BCA agent noted how the soot deposits made it difficult to obtain fingerprints and DNA evidence.
For more information on this story, check back later and read The Forum on Tuesday.