Two men who will never forget the death of Amanda Morton have seen the execution of the man who killed her 14 years ago.
Green County Sheriff Jim Arnott was one of the investigators who searched for Amanda Morton in 2001 when her car was found abandoned with the engine running and her personal things inside. Investigators were eventually led to David Zink, who showed them where he had buried her in a cemetery after raping and murdering her.
Asked if the case has stuck with him, Arnott took a moment to control his emotions.
“It’s something you never forget. One of the things as law enforcement is we wanted to find her, and we wanted to find her alive,” said Arnott. “You have that little bit of hope that you can do that … that was probably the toughest thing, that emotion of hoping that you get there in time.”
Arnott said the type of man Zink was became apparent when he led authorities to Morton’s body, and talked about the crime during his trial.
“He was very matter-of-fact. Not really concerned about emotion. I never seen any regret or remorse,” said Arnott. “You look at the crime and you look at his previous ones and he was doing the same thing and because he wanted to do it … it was very planned out, very methodical, and very evil.”
Major Phil Corcoran called Zink’s demeanor during that time, “alarming … how emotionless and casual he was throughout our contact, to the point of recovering Amanda’s body. It was chilling.”
Arnott learned a lot about Morton during the investigation. He said Zink’s execution is the end of his story, but it is not the end of Morton’s.
“Her memory lives on with us, and some of the things she taught us even though she wasn’t alive at the time are things that we’ll never forget,” said Arnott. “She was a vibrant young lady with a great future and this monster took that away.”
Arnott was quick to answer when asked whether the execution was carried out soon enough.
“No. This should have happened 14 years ago.”
Nine members of Amanda Morton’s family witnessed Zink’s execution, including her parents and sister, but the did not make a statement.