11/15/12–15 years later: Murder arrest made in Hannah Zaccaglini case

A red Dodge Dakota pickup, owned by Ed Henline, Sr., sits on the side of Highway 89 Thursday morning after Sheriff’s deputies initiated a traffic stop and arrested him for the murder of Hannah Zaccaglini, who was 15 years old when she disappeared in 1997.


McCloud, Calif. — Fifteen years after 15 year old Hannah Zaccaglini disappeared, the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Department arrested Ed Henline, Sr., 67 of McCloud, for her murder.
Henline, Sr. was arrested on Highway 89 at Snowman Summit at approximately 8:15 a.m. this morning, Nov. 15. He will be held at Siskiyou County Jail without bail, said Sheriff’s spokesperson Allison Giannini.
On June 5, 1997 Hannah went missing shortly after being last seen walking in vicinity of the Henline home with Mr. Henline, said Giannini. For several months, Sheriff’s detectives from the Major Crimes Unit have been “vigorously pursuing” new and previous investigative leads, which led to the arrest of Mr. Henline, Giannini said.
Some leads were generated by new witnesses, but detectives believe there are other citizens with knowledge about Hannah’s disappearance and the circumstances leading to her death.
“I am proud of the exemplary investigative efforts of the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit, which tenaciously and relentlessly pursued investigative leads in this case which ultimately led to the arrest of the suspect, Mr. Henline,” said Sheriff Jon Lopey. “This has been a long, arduous and emotionally tumultuous journey for the investigators and this tragic case has been extremely difficult for the loving family and friends of Hannah Zaccaglini. Family members and friends have had to live with the grief, uncertainty, and irrevocable loss associated with her disappearance for over 15 long years.”
Lopey continued, “the Department has been working very closely with the Siskiyou County District Attorney’s Office to ensure charges are filed against Mr. Henline and any involved co-conspirators.”
Lopey called attention to several agencies who assisted in various phases of the investigation, including California Department of Justice (Bureau of Investigations and Redding Crime Lab), Siskiyou County Wide Interagency Narcotics Task Force, Yreka and Weed Police Departments, California Highway Patrol, Siskiyou County District Attorney’s Office Investigative Unit, Siskiyou County Probation Department and Western States Intelligence Network.
“This arrest resulted from good old-fashioned police work, the dauntless efforts of our investigators, the collective efforts of many law enforcement agencies and the support of witnesses willing to provide information about the case,” Lopey said. “The arrest of Mr. Henline reinforces one important point and that is that the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office will vigorously and relentlessly pursue criminals whom prey on children and adults in our county. This case, although still on-going, also serves as a small measure of closure to the family and friends of Ms. Hannah Zaccaglini and I am grateful for the hard work and determination of those law enforcement professionals participating in this major investigative effort. On behalf of the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office, I would also like to take this opportunity to extend our thoughts, prayers and sincere condolences to Hannah’s family and friends.”
The Sheriff’s Office is also conducting a parallel investigation involving the disappearance of another McCloud resident, Ms. Karen Knechtel Mero, who was 27 at the time of her disappearance, also during 1997, and also from the McCloud area, said Giannini.
Those with information about Hannah’s case or Karen’s case are urged to contact Detective Jeff Moser of the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office at 530-842-8764. Calls may also be made to the SCSO 24-hour Dispatch Center at 530-841-2900.