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Arrest made, charges filed in woman’s beating death

A little more than a week after she was found dead in her mobile home on Fort Wayne’s northwest side, police believe they have the man responsible for the beating death of Diane Woods.

Woods’ son found his 78-year-old mother dead in the living room of her mobile home Aug. 8.

She died from blunt force injury to her head, and her death was declared a homicide by the Allen County Coroner’s Office. There have been nine homicides in Allen County this year.

Late Tuesday afternoon, city police announced they arrested a suspect in the case, 23-year-old Zachary D. Reinders of Fort Wayne.

Fort Wayne police said they arrested Reinders without incident Tuesday afternoon on preliminary charges of murder, felony murder and robbery.

Police did not say what led them to Reinders as the prime suspect in Woods’ death at her Le Steele Boulevard home.

His address listed for an infraction court case in late 2011 in Allen County was the same street where Woods lived in the Valley Hills Mobile Home Park off Washington Center Road.

Despite the heinous nature of the allegations against him, Reinders’ criminal history is brief and consists only of misdemeanor convictions.

His most recent conviction was in September 2011 for a misdemeanor charge of carrying a handgun without a license, according to Allen County court records. He previously was convicted of a misdemeanor charge of conversion, a lower form of theft.

Aside from the gruesome scene at Woods’ home, police said they found evidence related to the case at a mobile home about four lots down from Woods’ home.

Woods’ son found her late in the afternoon of Aug. 8 after her sister couldn’t get a hold of her for their daily phone call.