Michael Zutten was found guilty as charged with Second-Degree Murder following a nine-day trial in Collier County. The jury deliberated for four hours before returning a verdict late
last night. Zutten murdered his girlfriend in 2015 and then dumped her body in a state forest in Collier County.
The victim was last seen on August 21, 2015, but Zutten did not report her missing. The Collier County Sheriff’s Office learned of her disappearance months later and began an investigation.
Zutten claimed the victim went on an extended hiking trip. Her remains were found on August 29, 2015 and identified in December of 2015. Zutten was arrested in 2018 after extensive work on the case by Collier County Sheriff’s Office Detectives.
Part of the evidence introduced at trial were social media posts the defendant shared, which referenced murder and hiding dead bodies. Zutten is scheduled to be sentenced on February 18, 2022.
Assistant State Attorney Deborah Cunningham and Assistant State Attorney Jennifer Brown prosecuted the case.
Samantha Syoen – Communications Director, State Attorney’s Office