KOLR 10 News Beat reporter Melissa Moon’s interview with Debbie Morton, Amanda’s mother in 2001.

As police searched for Morton, the manager for a Camdenton motel saw a picture of Morton on TV and told authorities a woman fitting her description checked into his motel with a man around 5:30 AM. The hotel registration had the information police needed to identify the man and his license plate. His name is David Zink.

Zink was found at his parents’ house near Appleton City. He was asked to come in for questioning and come in of his own free will. He confessed matter-of-factly and even laughing on videotape that he tied her to a tree, told her to look up, and then snapped her neck. The confession can be seen below.

Zink revealed he was released from a 20-year prison sentence for rape, abduction, and escape charges a few months prior to rear-ending Morton. Afraid that his drunken-fueled collision would violate his parole and send him back to prison, Zink abducted her.

“If I think you’re going to pose a threat to my freedom, it’s set in my mind that I’m going to eliminate you.”

— David Zink

Morton’s death was the driving force that brought the AMBER Alert Program to the Ozarks.