Court document IDs DNA match in 8-year-old homicide case
No charges filed in investigation
MADISON, Wis. — Documents related to the search warrant in the Brittany Zimmermann case revealed new information about the investigation. The mother of the victim said she hopes with the new details released that someone comes forward with information that could help the case.
In February, parents of 21-year-old Brittany Zimmermann, said that investigators had a DNA match in their daughter’s case, but they didn’t identify the DNA match because no charges had been filed.
Zimmerman was killed in her apartment at 517 W. Doty St. on April 2, 2008.
A search warrant filed in March 2015 obtained by News 3 Thursday indicated that in December 2014, DNA found on Zimmermann’s shirt sleeve matched the DNA of David Kahl, a convicted offender in the FBI DNA database CODIS. Kahl was reported to be in the area the day Zimmermann was stabbed to death.
Zimmermann’s neighbor reported a man entered her home on April 2 around the same time Zimmermann was found. The man asked for $40 to fix a flat tire, according to the search warrant. She later identified Kahl as the man she saw and ordered to leave.
Less than a half-mile away on North Bedford Street, a resident reported a man had solicited $20 from him to fix a flat tire. The man left his Department of Corrections card with the Bedford Street resident as collateral, but never returned. The resident reported the incident to police. The DOC card had Kahl’s name and picture on it, the report said.
Man claims Kahl told him about the murder
A week after the DNA hit, a Madison detective spoke to a friend of Kahl who was an inmate in federal prison in West Virginia. Andrew J. Scoles claimed to be a close friend of Kahl and told police Kahl “broke down in tears” and confessed to killing Zimmermann.
The search warrant obtained Thursday, but filed March 19, 2015, was for electronic communications by Scoles including email and phone calls while in Gilmer Federal Correctional Institution. Court documents also show police requested the warrant sealed. Though Scoles told the detective that Kahl told him what happened, he wouldn’t provide details without conditions that would benefit Scoles, according to the document.
Jean Zimmermann said she hopes the new information will push someone to come forward. The news in February about the DNA match gave Jean and her husband Kevin some relief, but Jean said the thought of Brittany’s killer walking free in the eight years since Brittany was killed has been difficult.
“We were so frustrated that nothing had been done,” Jean Zimmermann said. “(Kahl) wasn’t being charged with her murder, that people were not being held responsible; it overwhelms you and takes over your life.”
No one has been arrested or charged in the 2008 homicide case.
“The district attorney believes that there is not enough to charge (Kahl),” Jean Zimmerman, Brittany’s mother, said. “I hope he changes his mind now that all this is out in the open, and maybe someone will come forward. Maybe people will put pressure on the district attorney to file those charges against David Kahl.”
Brittany’s mother: ‘What do (police) have to lose?’
Madison police wouldn’t comment on the Zimmermann case Thursday, but referred News 3 to Chief Mike Koval’s statement in February this year in which he said, “The case is not ripe for arrest and referral.”
The Dane County district attorney said Thursday that no charges had been referred to him and he couldn’t comment on an open investigation.
Unrelated to the Zimmerman case, Kahl was arrested in April on suspicion of seventh-offense operating while intoxicated and is in Dodge Correctional Institution.
“(Kahl) was free up until a little while ago, for eight years he was free,” Jean Zimmermann said. “We’re thinking, ‘What do (police) have to lose?’ Let a jury decide whether they believe he was guilty that day or not.”