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Missing Girl's Neighbor Again Probed
AP/Yahoo! ^ | Thu Feb 14, 7:45 AM ET

Posted on 02/14/2002 7:10:24 AM PST by MizSterious

Missing Girl's Neighbor Again Probed
Thu Feb 14, 7:45 AM ET

SAN DIEGO - Nearly two weeks after a 7-year-old girl disappeared, police again searched the home of a neighbor they have called a potential suspect in the case.

Detectives, who spent more than five hours at the home of David Westerfield on Wednesday night, carried out several boxes and other items but declined to say if they had uncovered anything important.

Westerfield, who lives two doors down from the van Dam family, has had his home searched several times and has given authorities a DNA sample that was sent to an FBI (news - web sites) crime lab for analysis. Police have also seized the 49-year-old self-employed engineer's motor home.

Danielle van Dam was last seen Feb. 1 when her father put her to bed in the family's home 20 miles north of downtown. No one has been arrested in the case and police said as recently as Tuesday that their case was progressing slowly.

The girl's parents said they would hold a news conference Thursday in front of their home. They have offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to their daughter's safe return.

On Tuesday, investigators used a bloodhound to search the van Dam home, saying they hoped the dog might be able to turn up any clues they had missed in previous searches. They have not said if they found anything.

Marc Klaas, who became an advocate for missing children after his daughter was murdered in 1993, met with the van Dam family Wednesday to "help them deal with this a little bit," he said.

"I can emotionally give them support and tell them what to expect," Klaas told reporters after meeting with Danielle's parents.

Klaas's 12-year-old daughter, Polly, was abducted from her home in Petaluma during a slumber party. Her body was found 65 days later. Richard Allen Davis was later convicted and sentenced to death for the crime.

TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events

1 posted on 02/14/2002 7:10:24 AM PST by MizSterious
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To: golitely
What a horrible story. Poor little kid.
2 posted on 02/14/2002 7:12:51 AM PST by r9etb
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To: All
The following is controversial. Some question the credibility of Roberts. But I did see Roberts being interviewed by Van Susteren--it was a tough interview, and she was not easy to convince. He stood his ground. If this proves untrue, he risks his career, his reputation, and probably everything he ever owned and ever will own, because if this information is false, he'll be sued, big time. So, take this for what it's worth. It's been posted in another, much longer thread--but might be more accessible here.



The comments of Rick Roberts source (a high placed law enforcement official) are in bold type. Additional information from other sources (press, etc.) are in italics.

David Westerfield has been quoted in the press as saying that he was a friend of the van Dams.

The van Dams have denied this, stating that their only contact with him was when Brenda and Danielle came to his home to sell girl scout cookies, and when they exchanged greeting as they passed by.

The bar has been identified in the press as "Dad’s Café and Steak House."

David Westerfield openly admitted that he was at the bar that night. He claims that he danced with Brenda van Dam. Brenda denies this.

According to the Union Trib., David Westerfield left the Sabre Springs neighborhood in his RV on Saturday morning. He went first to a campground at the Silver Strand. There, he paid to stay for two nights. However, he deposited the wrong amount of money in the camp fee deposit box (he paid an amount equal to 4 nights, not 2). Some time after noon, a park ranger came to his RV to give Westerfield a refund. Approximately 20 minutes after being visited by the ranger, Westerfield left the campground and headed to the desert. He is reported to have told police that he left because "he didn't know anybody down there. He decided to go to the desert where his friends were." SDUT 2/8/02

Sometime over the weekend, Westerfield went to the desert (south of Glamis, a mile and a half south of state Route 78) and drove his RV into deep sand. His vehicle was towed by Dan Conklin, a towing service owner, who claimed that Westerfield was in such a hurry to leave after his vehicle was freed that he refused to go back an get something he had left behind. 2/8/02

Westerfield has been repeatedly questioned by police.

His home has been repeatedly searched.

The SD Union-Trib reported that Westerfield retained criminal defense attorney Steven Feldman on Thursday, February 7, 2002.

Police impounded Westerfield’s SUV and RV. While the SUV has been returned to him, the police retain custody of Westerfield’s RV.

3 posted on 02/14/2002 7:50:44 AM PST by MizSterious
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To: golitely
Probed again? I'll bet that hurt.
4 posted on 02/14/2002 8:53:41 AM PST by tal hajus
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To: golitely
Who is Rick Roberts? This situation gets weirder by the minute.
5 posted on 02/14/2002 9:01:48 AM PST by Jaded
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To: Jaded
He's a reporter in the San Diego area. I did make a clickable source to the (radio, I think) station.
6 posted on 02/14/2002 9:07:56 AM PST by MizSterious
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To: golitely
How sad for the child, for all the children. If these reports are accurate these parents were self centered pleasure seekers that put their children at risk by having questionable people in and out of their home.
7 posted on 02/14/2002 9:31:32 AM PST by RnMomof7
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To: golitely
Heard John Walsh say on FOX news a couple of days ago that they found kiddie porn on the neighbor's computer; he failed the lie detector test on the question of whether young girls excited him; and he was stranded in the desert (over the weekend, I believe).

Walsh also said that the parents have been completely cooperative with the investigation from the beginning (as opposed to Ramsey, Smith). They have admitted to going to the bar and have passed lie detector tests.

What a horrible ordeal. I hope the investigations bring the truth out quickly. The neighbor has a lawyer who has told him to keep quiet and so it seems unlikely.

8 posted on 02/14/2002 9:36:32 AM PST by Ruth A.
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To: Ruth A.
Actually, Smith did appear to cooperate at first, and passed lie detector tests. Not saying that these parents did away with their daughter, just pointing out the error of the statement. I believe the Ramsey family did not cooperate, however.
9 posted on 02/14/2002 9:39:19 AM PST by MizSterious
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To: RnMomof7
I just did a little research on the public relations firm the van Dams hired--Hillard-Fleishman:

Revenues for 2000 were up about 40 percent over 1999, taking Fleishman-Hillard past the $300 million mark—one of three agencies to break that barrier last year. While acquisitions made a contribution (Boston technology specialist Lois Paul & Partners being the most notable), organic growth was a healthy 30 percent, indicating—to no one’s surprise—that the firm’s underlying business remains exceptionally healthy. F-H picked up about $90 million in new business from both existing clients and new additions to the roster, including Yahoo, Reebok, Bayer, and a major social marketing initiative from the AARP.

National Reach

Fleishman has 26 offices in the United States—more than any other major agency—and is among the market leaders almost everywhere it operates. It goes without saying that the St. Louis headquarters office is still a powerhouse, with more than 400 employees (including more than 100 in ancillary services such as research and interactive), it serves a client list that includes Nortel, Dell, Wal-Mart, and Emerson Electric and delivers consistently excellent corporate and consumer work. In Washington, the agency’s work for the Office of National Drug Control Policy has made F-H a player in social marketing as well as straight public affairs. The firm’s west coast operations (L.A., San Francisco, Sacramento, San Diego) and Midwestern offices (Chicago, Kansas City, Minneapolis) are regional leaders, and new offices in Boston and Portland are strong. New York has historically been the toughest market for F-H, but the firm has cracked the top 10 in the Big Apple, and is strong in the healthcare and corporate sectors in particular.


Looks like they're spending a lot of money for public relations, or is it that they're hoping for a really good book/movie deal?

10 posted on 02/14/2002 9:45:43 AM PST by MizSterious
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To: golitely
Looks like they're spending a lot of money for public relations, or is it that they're hoping for a really good book/movie dea

I hear X rated movies do not do that well:>)

11 posted on 02/14/2002 10:01:14 AM PST by RnMomof7
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To: tal hajus
"Moon River..."
12 posted on 02/14/2002 10:08:41 AM PST by Diddle E. Squat
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