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Thread: Police Identify Human Remains As Dennis Day, Long-Missing Original Mouseketeer

  1. #16
    Elite Member NickiDrea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Novice View Post
    I thought about this & I guess that to DNA test a body you need a known sample of dna to compare it with (toothbrush, hairbrush, etc) maybe they don’t have that as the people living in his house have cleared it out?
    Teeth could be - dentures or he’s not been to a dentist or all his teeth were pulled to prevent ID.
    So I thought it might not be the body but reference samples etc that they are missing?
    I don’t understand either. What is the nature of the human remains that they found? Bone is one of the best sources of DNA, the half life of DNA is almost 600 years. And if he has living biological relatives (aren’t they the ones who reported him missing? In fact, isn’t his mom still alive?), they could compare the DNA from the body to that of a known biological relative. They can tell if they are related and even the degree of relation. Especially if they compare it to the mother’s DNA.
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  2. #17
    Elite Member Novice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NickiDrea View Post
    I don’t understand either. What is the nature of the human remains that they found? Bone is one of the best sources of DNA, the half life of DNA is almost 600 years. And if he has living biological relatives (aren’t they the ones who reported him missing? In fact, isn’t his mom still alive?), they could compare the DNA from the body to that of a known biological relative. They can tell if they are related and even the degree of relation. Especially if they compare it to the mother’s DNA.
    His sister Nelda appears to be alive so maybe they could use hers? It’s all a conundrum!!!
    twitchy2.0 likes this.

  3. #18
    Super Moderator twitchy2.0's Avatar
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    Family searching for original Mickey Mouse Club Mouseketeer Dennis Day, missing from Oregon since July 2018

    by BIANCA HILLIER

    Growing up in California in the early 1950s, Nelda Adkins says she and her brother Dennis Day spent most of their time practicing their dance routines in the garage.

    “My mother would watch a lot of musicals, so she had us in dance classes and doing acrobat and in talent shows,” Nelda told Dateline. “Dennis and I were only two years apart, so we spent our growing-up years together.”

    Nelda said both she and her brother were excited when Disney called, wanting the siblings to audition to be a part of the now-famous Mouseketeers.
    Dennis Day Alamy Stock Photo

    “We had an agent, and Dennis and I were called to audition by Disney,” Nelda told Dateline. “During our audition, the pianist was messing up, so Dennis went over and told him how to do it. [Dennis] made us start the routine all over again.”

    Dennis’s perfectionism and control of the situation paid off. In 1955, at just 12 years old, Dennis was signed to appear as a Mouseketeers on Disney’s The Mickey Mouse Club TV show.

    “Dennis got picked up and I didn’t, which was sad because I really wanted to be a Mouseketeer,” Nelda, who was 10 at the time, told Dateline. “I really missed him when Dennis was picked up by Disney, because we always performed together. When he was a Mouseketeer, he was gone from before dawn until after dusk. That really ended my career.”

    Following the show’s first season, Dennis was one of the 10 Mouseketeers retained for season two, according to his sister. His run on the show ended in 1957, but Dennis continued to work in show business across the United States.


    Mickey Mouse Club Mouseketeers, 1957. Dennis Day, pictured far right. Alamy Stock Photo

    Nelda told Dateline that when her brother was 18 years old, he left the family’s Downey, California home and moved to San Francisco. Nelda said that Dennis had come out to his family as being gay and, while he was accepted by his family, he said he wanted to live in a city where the gay community was more celebrated.

    “Dennis would call and tell my mom -- and tell her he met this wonderful man,” Nelda told Dateline about Dennis’s then-boyfriend, Ernie Caswell. “Ernie started coming to Christmas every year. He was a part of our family.”

    Dennis and Ernie moved to Oregon in the 1980s, where they’ve lived ever since, according to Nelda. Dennis and Ernie got married after the millennium, Nelda said. In 2009, Dennis told a local newspaper what being able to get married meant to him.

    "We've been together 37 years, so we're from a period where there was no thought of marriage," Dennis told the paper. "I cry at weddings, but I never thought I would be crying at mine."

    Dennis Day, left, and his husband, Ernie Caswell.

    As both men grew older, their love did not fade. Dennis’s niece Denise Norris told Dateline that when Ernie was diagnosed with colon cancer and dementia, Dennis never left his side.

    “He doesn’t even leave his house to travel anywhere,” Denise said. “The last time he left his town was come to his mother’s funeral. And that was 12 years ago.”

    Nelda and Denise told Dateline they went to visit Dennis at his and Ernie’s house in Phoenix, Oregon in June of 2017.
    “He was happy to see us. He greeted us and was hugging us,” Nelda said. “So everything was going well.”

    Nelda said she and her brother continued to send each other Christmas and birthday cards, but they didn’t speak often, so she wasn’t surprised when months went by with no word from Dennis.

    But in early January of 2019, one of Dennis’s family members, who lives in Oregon, turned on his local NBC channel and saw a report that would shock the family: Dennis was missing -- and hadn’t been heard from in six months.

    “He saw it on the news broadcast and called us immediately,” Nelda said. “I called Phoenix Police Department the very next day, and we’ve been working on it ever since. The whole family got in on it.”

    Nelda told Dateline that when she called the police, she learned Dennis’s husband Ernie had been the one to report Dennis, now 76, missing in late July of 2018.

    “Ernie was in the hospital at that time, and he realized Dennis hadn’t come to visit him in a few weeks,” Nelda told Dateline. “So he had someone from the hospital call the police and report Dennis as missing.”

    According to Nelda, police said they hadn’t contacted Dennis’s family because they didn’t have any record of family other than Dennis’s husband, Ernie. Ernie, in the hospital with dementia, wasn’t able to provide contact information for Dennis’s family, who live in California.

    Oregon State Police Public Information Officer Captain Tim Fox told Dateline the case was being handled by the Phoenix Police Department and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office. Neither agency returned Dateline’s request for comment by Monday evening, but authorities recently told a local NBC station that Dennis was last seen in July of 2018.

    Police reportedly told Nelda that a man who was living at Dennis and Ernie’s house at the time Dennis disappeared, said Dennis had left on foot, saying he was going to visit some friends.


    Dennis Day, left, and his sister, Nelda Adkins.

    “Ernie, at the time, was in the hospital, so he wasn’t even at the house,” Nelda said. “Dennis had a car, but the car was left behind. He left his dog and his cat behind, too – he loved them dearly, just like children.”

    By the time Dennis’s family learned of the situation six months later, Nelda says police had already searched Dennis’s home, a nearby graveyard and a nearby creek for any signs of her missing brother.

    “They said they brought in cadaver dogs, too,” Nelda added. “But they never found anything that would imply a crime had happened.”
    Though Dennis and Ernie’s roommate told police Dennis had left on foot, Dennis’s car was found along the Oregon coast shortly after his disappearance. According to a local NBC affiliate, inside the car were two people Dennis did not know. It’s unclear how they gained access to Dennis’s car.

    Now, family says they are trying to pick up the pieces of what they call a “poorly-handled” investigation.
    “We are devastated. We had no idea anything was happening and six months into it, we figured it out. We should have been notified,” Dennis’s niece Denise told Dateline. “We are devastated by the whole thing. We just know someone knows something.”

    Dennis’s sister Nelda said none of Dennis’s accounts or credit cards have been used since he disappeared. Dennis did not use social media and had a pre-paid cell phone, she added, so both family and investigators have been unable to track him by any means.

    “He’s not the type of person who would just disappear. Especially with his significant other being in the hospital – he was very dedicated to him,” Denise said. “We are worried. [We] just need answers. We love him. We’re just kind of lost with what to do, or how to find him.”

    Dennis’s husband Ernie has since been released from the hospital and is in an assisted living facility, according to Dennis’s family.
    “Ernie is doing well, I understand. He has dementia, but he is in residential care and is being well taken care of,” Nelda said. “Friends of theirs go visit, and he recognizes them when they come.”

    If you have any information on the circumstances surrounding Dennis Day’s disappearance, please contact Lt. Jeff Price of the Phoenix Police Department at 541-535-1113, ext. 309, or the anonymous tip line at 1-888-960-6450.


    https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/miss...issing-n975891
    As Canadian as possible under the circumstances

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  4. #19
    Super Moderator twitchy2.0's Avatar
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    Mouseketeer death: Cops stepped on Dennis Day’s body but failed to find it for months, lawyer claims

    Updated 8:07 AM; Today 7:10 AMMouseketeer Dennis Day

    Dennis Day, an original Mouseketeer, was found dead in his southern Oregon home.100sharesBy Shane Dixon Kavanaugh | The Oregonian/OregonLiveUpdated 8:07 a.m.

    During three unsuccessful searches to find missing actor Dennis Day inside his southern Oregon home, police walked on and over a pile of clothing that hid the missing 76-year-old’s body, causing skeletal fractures to his remains, a lawyer for Day’s family claims.The allegations come in a letter sent this week by attorney Erin E. Gould to the city of Phoenix, the Phoenix Police Department and Lt. Jeff Price.Price led the investigation after Day, an original member of TV’s “The Mickey Mouse Club,” vanished last year under mysterious circumstances, drawing national and international attention.Mouseketeer Dennis DayA Mouseketeer mystery: Dennis Day’s extraordinary life and heartbreaking death

    The former Disney actor's troubling end in southern Oregon touches on the transience of fame, the vulnerabilities of growing old in poverty and the contraction of community as connections fade away.The formal letter, known as a tort claim notice, alleges other circumstances in the case never disclosed before now:· Day had contacted police in Phoenix, a small town just south of Medford, days before he was last seen on July 15, 2018, to report that Daniel Burda, the live-in handyman now charged in his death, had “behaved violently toward” him. Someone at the police department allegedly told Day that if Burda was a tenant, he’d need to begin a formal process to evict him.·

    Shortly after Day’s disappearance, Phoenix police on two occasions spoke with Burda where he could be observed on body camera footage having “obvious battle wounds on his hands and forearms.”· In August 2018, the Phoenix Police Department received multiple 911 calls reporting a “horrific smell” coming from Day’s home. One of those reports was made by a Meals on Wheels volunteer who delivered food to the residence.It would take nine months and a cadaver dog for Phoenix police to finally discover Day’s remains in his North Pine Street home, located blocks from the city’s police headquarters.

    Burda was arrested three months later on July 5 by Oregon State Police, who took over the death investigation from Phoenix police. Price had said publicly during his investigation that he did not believe handyman was involved in Day’s disappearance.Burda told police that he shoved Day to the ground and later hid his body beneath the pile of clothes, court records allege.The suspect also admitted to police that he tried to air out the room containing Day’s body “because it smelled like death” and at one point used chemical products to clean the space, according to a probable cause affidavit.The fatal encounter unfolded after Day decided he no longer wanted Burda staying in his home, court documents say. The two men had had multiple altercations, the records allege.

    Burda had worked as a handyman for Day and Day’s husband, Henry “Ernie” Caswell, 88, and later stayed there in exchange for helping the elderly men, Phoenix police and a friend of the couple previously told The Oregonian/OregonLive.Day was first reported missing in late July 2018, two weeks after Caswell had been hospitalized due to a series of falls at their home.

    Early in the investigation, Burda told police that Day had left his residence with his dog to go on a trip with friends, court records show.Daniel James Burda, pictured, faces manslaughter charges in the death of former Mouseketeer Dennis DayDaniel James Burda

    According to the tort claim notice, Phoenix police searched inside Day and Caswell's home three times that July. That's when, Gould alleges, police inadvertently stepped on the deceased man's body hidden beneath the clothes and fractured his bones.

    The letter does not indicate what days officers conducted the searches, but it claims all three were recorded on Phoenix Police Department body cameras.Day’s family did not learn that he was missing until months later, and only after a nephew in Oregon spotted a local news report about his uncle’s disappearance.In late February, Day’s disappearance became national news and police finally found his remains at his home in April.

    Police have still not determined his cause of death, though Burda faces charges of second-degree manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, criminal mistreatment and abuse of a corpse.Caswell remained in an assisted living facility after his husband disappeared and died in September.

    That same month, a Jackson County judge determined that Burda was mentally unfit to stand trial and sent him to the Oregon State Hospital.According to the tort claim notice, Day’s heirs — listed Nelda Adkins, Denise Norris, Janel Showers, Marla Seese and Fred Richardson — have been “irreparably damaged” by the “gross negligence” of the Phoenix police investigation and plan to file a lawsuit.

    Phoenix City Manager Aaron Prutny declined to comment Friday. Phone calls to Price went unanswered.
    https://www.oregonlive.com/news/2019...er-claims.html
    As Canadian as possible under the circumstances

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    "What's traitors, precious?" -- President Gollum

  5. #20
    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    So his heirs were “irreparably damaged” by the police’s incompetence but not involved enough to check up on their uncle and make sure he and his husband weren’t victims of elder abuse?
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  6. #21
    Elite Member ConstanceSpry's Avatar
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    The police stepped on clothes containing his remains and didn't notice the remains until 9 months later? Even though they checked the house because of a horrible smell?
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  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by ConstanceSpry View Post
    The police stepped on clothes containing his remains and didn't notice the remains until 9 months later? Even though they checked the house because of a horrible smell?
    Sometimes they are really bad at searches. I remember an episode of Disappeared(the Lauria and Ashley case and it's horrific what happened to those girls) where an house burned down. They found the wife's body and thought the husband did it, later family members going through the rubble looking for clues found the husband's body as well.
    OrangeSlice, holly and Waterslide like this.
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  8. #23
    Elite Member ConstanceSpry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by C_is_for_Cookie View Post
    Sometimes they are really bad at searches. I remember an episode of Disappeared(the Lauria and Ashley case and it's horrific what happened to those girls) where an house burned down. They found the wife's body and thought the husband did it, later family members going through the rubble looking for clues found the husband's body as well.
    That's crazy. You'd think they'd make sure to do their job right.
    'I had to get rid of the kid. The cat was allergic.'

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