by BRAD ROLLINS
An eastern Hays County man charged this week with strangling his wife to death with his bare hands admitted in an interview with Hays County Sheriff’s Office investigators that he killed her, an officer said in a sworn statement.
Mildred Zedler, 55, was taken to the hospital by ambulance early Wednesday where doctors reported to police that she arrived with a broken nose, facial lacerations and a tampon lodged in her throat. An autopsy performed by medical examiner contractor Suzanna Dana found a broken bone and hemorrhaging in her neck and determined she died from manual strangulation.
Her husband, 55-year-old John Frederick Zedler, was taken to the sheriff’s office for questioning where he attempted to commit suicide by sticking a metal part of his eyeglasses frame into an electrical socket, Hays County Sheriff’s Det. Angelo Floiran said in an affidavit used to obtain an arrest warrant. This caused lights at the Hays County Law Enforcement Center to go out but did not harm Zedler, who was interviewed anyway.
During the interview, Zedler “repeatedly yelled that he killed his wife. He stated that he slapped her in the face repeatedly and demonstrated the slap using his hands,” Floiran wrote.
When asked about the tampon found his wife’s throat, Zedler said he stuck one up her nose, not her throat, and that it probably ended up in her throat by way of her nasal cavity, Floiran wrote. He was agitated and yelling throughout the interview, the detective said, and never provided a coherent explanation of how or why he killed her.
Zedler was arrested on a murder warrant issued by Pct. 2 Justice of the Peace Beth Smith. He is being held at the county jail on $435,000 bail.
The couple’s son, Brandon Zedler, was at the family’s home in the 500 block of Palomino Road at the time Mildred Zedler was killed and the next day when she didn’t wake up, Floiran said. It was not uncommon, he told Floiran, for her to take pain medication and sleep for as long as 18 hours but nevertheless he became worried at some point Tuesday as the day wore on. He urged his dad throughout the day to take her to the hospital but John Zedler assured his son she was just “out of it” and would be fine, Floiran wrote.
Early Wednesday, Brandon Zedler said he went to check on his mother and, finding her still unconscious, called 911 against his father’s urging. He told investigators he saw a blood-stained rag or towel stuffed in his mother’s mouth.
Read Det. Floiran’s probable cause affidavit here: