Authorities: Cold case closed after Henry County man admits to 2008 murder

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UPDATE – In August 2018, Zirkel entered a guilty plea for murder. On Sept. 13, 2018, he was sentenced to 63 years in the Indiana Department of Correction, with the sentence being served consecutive to the sentences he’s already serving.

Original Story:

HENRY COUNTY, Ind. – A 2008 murder case that went cold has been cracked after authorities said a Henry County man admitted to it.

Fifty-one-year-old Dana Zirkel has been charged with the murder of Michael Patterson. He also faces a burglary charge.

Police said Zirkel told them he committed the murder after saying “he could not have any peace in his life until he got this out.”

He went on to say his intent was to burglarize Patterson’s home, located in rural Middletown. Patterson reportedly came in and a fight ensued in the garage and throughout the home.

Zirkel advised that he hit Patterson in the head with a crow bar, but was not sure how many times.

The Henry County coroner said that Patterson died of blunt force trauma.

Zirkle is currently an inmate serving sentences for two cases of burglary and one case of theft. He has been continuously jailed since September 2008, one month after Patterson’s murder.

His earliest possible release on those charges is Feb. 2022.

Henry County Prosecutor Joe Bergacs thanks all law enforcement agencies for their help and said Patterson’s family can finally have some closure.

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