Skip to comments.Running transcripts of Van Dam hearing: SDPD describes scene where Danielle was found! (Graphic)
Posted on 03/11/2002 4:56:10 PM PST by FresnoDA
Police lieutenant, medical examiner testify at hearing for WesterfieldBy Jeffrey J. Rose
Updated 3 p.m. March 11, 2002
SAN DIEGO A preliminary hearing for David Westerfield, charged in connection with the kidnap and murder of 7-year-old Danielle van Dam, opened Monday morning with testimony by a police lieutenant who described the scene where the girl's naked, blackened body was found off Dehesa Road.
"I saw the body of what appeared to be a young child, in an advanced stage of decomposition, on her back," said police Lt. James C. Collins.
Collins said that although parts of the unclothed body had decomposed so much that the tissue had disappeared, he noticed the body was wearing a plastic choker necklace and an earring in its left ear identical to those Danielle was wearing the evening she disappeared on Feb. 1.
There were drag marks in leaves on the ground near the body, Collins said.
"It looked like somebody had dragged it into the underbrush," he said.
Westerfield's attorney, Steven Feldman, asked Collins whether he was aware of blood found by forensic investigators on the stairwell inside the van Dams' home and on concrete outside the garage. Collins, who headed the investigation into Danielle's disappearance, responded that he was not.
Feldman also asked Collins about drag marks found near the home, and Collins responded that he was aware that drag marks had been found near a sidewalk there.
San Diego County Medical Examiner Brian D. Blackbourne, the next to testify, said a lot of the body had been destroyed by animals and the remaining parts were severely decomposed, with the skin "mummified."
Blackbourne testified that the condition of the body was consistent with having been dead for the 3½ weeks Danielle was missing, but under questioning by Feldman later admitted he could not pinpoint the time of Danielle's death and in fact she could have been killed as late as Feb. 10 or later.
Much of the body's tissue was missing, he said, as was its left foot. An autopsy found that the organs of the chest were mostly intact, and fluid and air were found in its lungs, he testified.
Blackbourne testified that in the autopsy he looked for evidence of sexual molestation but was hampered by the body's poor condition.
The cause of death could not be immediately determined, Blackbourne said.
"The deterioration of even the tissue that was there makes it difficult to determine a cause of death unless a major, major trauma was the cause," he testified.
Although he could not immediately determine a cause, Blackbourne said he could determine that the death was a homicide based on the circumstances of Danielle's disappearance and discovery of her body.
The body was found by volunteer searchers Feb. 27 about 25 feet from the north side of Dehesa Road, about a mile east of Singing Hills Country Club and about 1½ miles west of Sycuan Casino.
Westerfield, a 50-year-old neighbor of Danielle's, pleaded not guilty to murder, kidnapping and possessing child pornography at a court hearing Feb. 26. If convicted, Westerfield could face the death penalty.
Testifying Monday afternoon at the pretrial hearing was Christina Hoeffs, a dispatcher for the California Highway Patrol whose home is behind and above Westerfield's.
Hoeffs said that after she got up to attend to her infant son around 2:30 a.m. Feb. 2, she went back to her bedroom and through her window noticed all the window blinds at the rear of Westerfield's home were shut tight. She said she also observed an outside back light remained on that she had first noticed was on at 10 p.m.
"I did make a note of it because he doesn't usually do that," Hoeffs said. "I've never seen the blinds shut completely tight on every window in his home."
The blue-eyed, 7-year-old girl was last seen when her father, Damon van Dam, put her to bed around 10 p.m. in their Sabre Springs home the night of Feb. 1. She was discovered missing the next morning, spurring a hunt that involved hundreds of volunteers.
Investigators believe Danielle was kidnapped from her bedroom and taken to the Silver Strand near Coronado by Westerfield, who then drove sometime on Feb. 2 to the desert.
Neither Damon nor Brenda van Dam, the girl's mother, attended Monday's hearing, which was broadcast live on local television stations.
Norman D. Sperber, a forensic dentist, also testified Monday on the condition of the body's teeth and how he identified the body through comparison with dental records.
Union-Tribune reports were used in compiling this story
[12:30] they aren't saying anything right now
[12:30] mics need to be set up better
[12:30] im watching it on the web
[12:31] robbery cop on
[12:32] james collins
[12:32] lt with SDPD
[12:33] called to respond to D house
[12:33] as robbery lieutenant
[12:34] he got there shortly after 10
[12:34] Collins robbery division in charge of all crimes of robbery
[12:34] first searched dumpsters in area
[12:35] searched house to house in neighborhood
[12:35] search and rescue in at 7 pm
[12:36] call came in to cops at 10 a.m.
[12:36] checked at border
[12:37] searched at Silver Strand for witnesses
[12:37] hearsay - Feldman
[12:38] got more than 900 tips
[12:38] on the 27th, they were at Dehesa
[12:38] he was still in charge of search efforts
[12:39] at 2:34 he was paged by Susan Wintersteen
[12:39] Westerfield in dark suit , white shirt, tie
[12:39] said center had heard from search teams - body was found
[12:39] cop was at police headquarters
[12:39] he grabbed a few cops and went to Dehesa site
[12:39] Muren - a cop
[12:40] describing where the tree is
[12:40] the roads
[12:40] past golf course
[12:40] someone take over
[12:40] you are ahead of what im seeing jameson
[12:41] courttv went to commercial for crying out loud
[12:41] there is a quarry near ther - there were people when he got there
[12:42] He told the detectives to talk to everyone there
[12:42] body described as parially burned -
[12:42] searcher saw the choker
[12:42] id'ing dvd missing flyer - confirms
[12:42] did not disturb body
[12:43] Collins went in and agreed it was her
[12:43] went to the scene - around the oak tree
[12:43] told him to watch footing, not to disturb evidence
[12:43] these people neet to speak up!
[12:43] went to north side of oak tree - showed him where the body was
[12:44] careful to preserve scene
[12:44] lying on back, head facing south, face east, lower torso advanced decomp,
faial tissue mostly gone
[12:44] animals had gotten to the body
[12:44] white person, no clothing
[12:44] no clothing on her
[12:44] he was 10 feet away
[12:44] parts missing
[12:44] didnt want to get closer
[12:44] one of her feet was gone
[12:44] one of her feet missing
[12:45] he saw her choker
[12:45] jewelry - plastic brown choker around neck, as in the missing flyer
[12:45] confirms it
[12:45] no clothing
[12:45] saw earring in left ear
[[12:45] he saw her left earring
[12:45] round earring
[12:45] mickey mouse
[12:45] was not able to see other ear - face was truned
[12:45] he thought it was the one she had been wearing - he couldn't see her
other ear - head turned to right
[12:46] animals had gotten to her
[12:46] no sign of burning
[12:46] no burning at all -
[12:46] tree had no signs of burning
[12:46] drag marks in the leaves
[12:46] "drag mark" under the tree
[12:46] she had been dragged into - from the north
[12:47] he left after just a few minutes
[12:47] lewis and newman notified
[12:47] to conduct scene inevstigation
[12:47] he called in - wanted to process scene -
[12:48] said he felt the body decomposed in the position it was
[12:48] there was some question as to whose jurisdiction it was in
[12:48] he would be in charge if it was Danielle
[12:49] Feldman is somber - listening intently (Correction - I meant DW)
[12:49] what was the objection?
[12:49] more evidence techs requested
[12:49] dw looks very bad - drawn, tired, bags under the eyes
[12:49] regarding hearsay
[12:50] Feldman is on a computer - - wonder if he is getting live feed from the
[12:50] objection - no foundation for question
[12:50] hearsay cindy
[12:50] They are going to set up a podium
[12:50] no one can hear
[12:51] searching for the podium
[12:51] commercial again
[12:52] 3 reports
[12:52] reviewed the reports to see accurate, details significant
[12:52] talks VERY fast, feldman
[12:52] objection, irrevlevant, denied
[12:53] feldman is very fast
[12:53] asks if he reviewed the reports prior to coming to court - no
[12:53] did you review anything? - yes, some reports prepared by officers
[12:53] interviews of witnesses
[12:53] he reviewed reports by patrol officers
[12:53] bvd, dvd, hamburg, easton, kimmel, one more i didnt catch
[12:54] asks for all documents that he used to be given
[12:54] Audry Easton
[12:54] feldman is requesting those documents
[12:54] Denise Kimmel
[12:54] Chris Morgan, Kristen Heinberg, Margaret Easton, Denise Kimmel
[12:54] chris morgan kirston hamberg, barbara easton, denise himmel
[12:54] and the Van Dams
[12:54] judge says yes, he must habnd them over...
[12:55] at any time a witness refers to docs for recollection, he must produce
....says he never received anything
[12:55] feldman wants these docs
[12:55] asking pros if there is a problem? - no
[12:55] discussion the nneed to produce these docs to feldman
[12:55] Feldman hasn't seen any of the reports from Hollis
[12:56] Apparently Feldman feels he should have had those reports before now
[12:56] 10:30 that NIGHT this cop was called in
[12:56] it took that long!
[12:56] Holy cow!
[12:57] yes I know..
[12:57] Collins first heard of the kidnapping at about 5 pm - - got the call
5 hours later
[12:57] call out at 10:30 pm
[12:57] what took so LONG?
[12:57] he was involved in 1 search of vd home
[12:57] involved in one search Feb 3 of VD house
[12:57] to make sure Danielle was not in the house
[12:57] not looking for blood or anything
[12:57] he searched the house looking for Danielle?
[12:58] referred to banister, and blood on it
[12:58] Feldman just dropped in that there were spots of blood onthe stairs
[12:58] Feldman is being asked to calm down
[12:58] Feldman has his adrenaline up
[12:58] blood on stairs in vd home or dw home?
[12:58] Feldman wants to know who was responsible for the forensic investigation
[12:59] he went in at 3 am
[12:59] forensic team was finished
[12:59] but he was searching for a body
[12:59] Feldman is good - - details, details
[12:59] he checked areas the forensic team didn't check
[12:59] looking for Danielle
[13:00] (that doesn't make sense, folks--LP)
[13:00] but he wasn't taking forensic evidence or looking for it
[13:00] 3 am on the 2nd he was looking for the body in the house - (Correctin -
-this would have been the 3rd!)
[13:00] worked with FBI
[13:00] on the case
[13:00] I want to know where he was looking
[13:00] Child abuse unit was there
[13:00] rumors of child abuse
[13:00] Lieutenant with robbery
[13:01] Feldman is pointing out that B&D were necessary suspects
[13:01] did anyone inspect the stairway area of VD residence?
[13:01] did anyone inspect the stairway?
[13:01] he doesn't know, assumes they did
[13:01] Collins says he doesn't know
[13:02] Collins says he has never seen a floorplan but was in the house
[13:02] could you tell whose room was whose?
[13:02] No, he couldn't
[13:02] could you tell what room was the girl's - NO
[13:02] nothing indicated who was in what room
[13:02] it was PINK!
[13:02] he was shown her room - - doesn't rememberby who- not parents
[13:02] Were you shown which bedroom was Danielles? Yes, but not by parents
[13:02] he went in the room
[13:03] the doors were likely shut, guest
[13:03] did you look for blood in the room? Yes
[13:03] he was looking around
[13:03] but not "microscopically"
[13:03] people had been looking for trace evidence
[13:03] just a visual inspection
[13:04] Did he suspect initially that parents involved? objection, sustained
[13:04] initially did he suspect the parents? objection - sustained
[13:04] won't let him touch that
[13:04] Collins did not direct forensic team
[13:04] he was asked if he figured they did their job
[13:05] objection - over ruled
[13:05] no one mentioned blood on stairwel? No
[13:05] Is this the first you heard of that evidence?
[13:05] I believe so
[13:05] That's a quote
[13:06] (he hasn't said yet whose blood it was on stairrail)
[13:06] No - - but how does the defense know if the cop doesn't?
[13:06] did you walk around the residence?
[13:06] did you note blood in garage on cement?
[13:07] were any of your reports forensic?
[13:07] You were unaware that techs had found blood near garage?
[13:07] objc, sustain
[13:07] AT 3am had you learned that Damon had vacuumed there?
[13:07] oh my vacumming/
[13:07] not sure when he was told
[13:08] WHY vacuum?????
[13:08] why would he vacuum at 3:00am?
[13:08] maybe something was spilled when they had pizza
[13:08] The vaccum cleaner was up
[13:08] was told later that Damon had vaccuumed
[13:08] and they say DW is a suspect cuz he cleaned his RV?
[13:08] objc, sustain
[13:09] absence or presence of drag marks? No
[13:09] I take it back, some drag marks on sidewalk on east side of house
[13:09] drag marks on east side of the house
[13:09] s.e. corner of house? yes
[13:09] s.w. ext corner of fireplace? I wasn't aware
[13:09] Was one drag mark 5 ' 4" long? don't know
[13:10] were you aware of blood on cement? No
[13:10] Damon was cleaning
[13:10] are you aware of Vanway?
[13:10] what would make a dragmark on cement? Blood?
[13:10] blood evidence
[13:10] or dust
[13:10] He's robbery or homicide, in plainclothes
[13:10] who is asking questions
[13:10] Feldman is cross examining
[13:10] now we have blood in three palces in the van Dam home
[13:11] thx :0
[13:11] 2/27 - he got infoemation
[13:11] that the body had been burned
[13:11] decomposition results in darkening
[13:12] "first blush" he thought burned, then realized it was decomp
[13:12] first appearance is that it was burned but not right - you can tell by the
[13:12] he was homicide det 5 years
[13:12] drag marks near body...report? No
[13:12] drag marks in Dehesa - he didn't write that in the report??
[13:12] From memory alone
[13:12] width of drag marks? long pause
[13:13] for thought: why would a person the size of DW have to drag a body the size of danielle?
[13:13] he did nothing to write reports to keep that memory
[13:13] he asked the cops to take photos
[13:13] good point alie
[13:13] they took photos
[13:14] to keep from getting blood on person
[13:14] the dragging I THINK is important - a pedohile who wanted her would have carried her at that point
[13:14] What if the person is resisiting?
[13:14] you might have to drag them
[13:14] im stuck on the Damon cleaing the house
[13:14] can't cover her mouth if you are dragging her
[13:14] I was referring to dragging at Dehesa
[13:14] lol cindy
[13:15] I am refering to both draggings
[13:15] WHEN did Damon vac?
[13:15] hope they have the vacuum bag
[13:15] maybe the blood issue applies to both?
[13:15] watch DW's movements
[13:15] the night it happened..or early next morning
[13:15] 3am byda??
[13:15] before 3am
[13:15] please describe DW demeanor and movements when you have time
[13:16] He is sitting with hands on hi lap mostly
[13:16] listening intently
[13:16] looking up?
[13:16] he looks very tired
[13:16] but is paying attention
[13:16] but not zombie
[13:16] no, cop was told at 3 AM Sunday that DVD had vaccumed
[13:16] Vacumed after forensic team was done?
[13:17] sems that way MaybeSo
[13:17] does his expression change at any of the testimony?
[13:17] AFTER forensics team was there?
[13:17] famale came in and sat near him and he touched her seat or something -
[13:17] big deal
[13:17] moved a paper on the table out of her way.
[13:17] Randy they went back 2 weeks later for more evidence
[13:17] her seat? her chair?
[13:17] what did they think they would get if Damon had been cleaning since day 1
[13:17] Feldman is fast and loud and the judge isn't fond of him
[13:18] commercial again
[13:18] I believe the forensics team had been there for 25 hours that day
[13:18] it's always that way with judges
[13:18] one of searchers took pictures.
[13:18] 15 hours, excuuuuse me
[13:18] Feldman sounds too angry he should take it easy
[13:18] Feldman trying to ascertain if additional photos were taken by searcher
[13:18] Were you aware they didn't tell?
[13:18] the judge asked the reporter i she got all that and she said
she was fine until the court interrupted :)
[13:19] the cops weren't communicating a lot
[13:19] doesn't say who killed her but this is a lot of stuff
[13:19] Feldman is doing a great job
[13:19] Collins describing body
[13:20] a searcher took pix of the body, but didn't tell police until later?
[13:20] small white -
[13:20] lots of stuff we hadn't heard
[13:20] hair indicated it was a female
[13:20] he sure is making Collins appear incompetent
[13:20] Define what you meant by advanced decomp
[13:20] lot of body tissue was gone
[13:20] Lot of tissue gone, dark color,
[13:20] with additional blood insdie the home....makes me wonder if other blood
was perhaps cleaned before police got there
[13:20] insects on face
[13:20] insect - maggots on face
[13:20] forensic entolomology
[13:21] I didn't want to know that
[13:21] talking about bringing in bug scientists
[13:21] relevance? TOD
[13:21] did he touch body? No
[13:21] none he noticed
[13:22] absence of odor indicates it had been there some time
[13:22] absence of odor suggest greater time or shorter time of decomp?
[13:22] Collins says he can't say - -
[13:22] Might be upwind...
[13:22] maybe he was upwind
[13:22] but i thought searchers were overcome by odor?
[13:22] no lie - he said that
[13:22] Early decomp smells?
[13:22] Feldman is challenging him
[13:22] Upwind or down?
[13:22] I bet they were overcome by the sight
[13:23] temperatur at scene
[13:23] (late decomp smells bad, folks-LP)
[13:23] maybe 70
[13:23] Does temp affect decomp? Yes
[13:23] DW just laughed
[13:24] he is not frozen with fear
[13:24] Back to VD residence...
[13:24] did you talk to Damon? No
[13:24] did they take it?
[13:24] Collins didn't direct that
[13:24] what did he laugh about?
[13:25] it was off mic - can't tell
[13:25] Damon was concerned about daughter, but was vaccuuming?
[13:25] objection, sustained
[13:25] DW is talking to woman next to him
[13:25] he was not the only one laughing, something had been said we didn't hear
[13:25] Could you see footprints?
[13:25] Don't recall any
[13:25] she seems to be explaining things to him and he is nodding
[13:25] this is at scene again
[13:25] Bike marks?
[13:26] Marks in grass, but didn't notice much
[13:26] no further questions
[13:26] Collins just there to identify the victim
[13:26] Could you tell which rooms were male/female?
[13:26] Prosecution asked - - could you tell if the rooms were male or female -
From inside, yes
[13:26] Danielle room had poster bed, don't recall color of walls, but pink
[13:27] what color was Danielle's room? Primary color was pink
[13:27] boys had cars, stuff
[13:27] drag marks at body...photos taken?
[13:27] obj, sustain
[13:27] he mentioned the net canopy....
[13:27] Do you know who directed photos?
[13:27] I did
[13:29] Miller told Collins she was leader of search team
[13:29] obj, denied
[13:29] Searcher went up to body
[13:29] and looked
[13:30] all the team went up and looked
[13:30] they did not touch or move body
[13:30] all their shoes were impounded
[13:30] couldn't tell the boys rooms rom the girls when the doors were closed
[13:30] Couldn't tell the kids' rooms if doors were closed
[13:31] and the vd's said the doors were closed that night
[13:31] Feldman is pointing at Damon for sure
[13:31] Van Dams told police the doors were closed...obj, sustain
[13:31] of course
[13:31] no other suspect
[13:31] 5 minute break
[13:31] brief break [[13:38] court back
[13:38] new witness
[13:39] brian douglas blackburn
[13:39] Brian Blackburn - the ME
[13:39] did the autopsy
[13:39] background stuff now
[13:42] coroner on stand
[13:42] ME got there at about 10:45
[13:42] complaining that ME is reading from something
[13:43] OK - ME went to the tree
[13:43] got there at 10:45
[13:43] were the drag marks at the tree
[13:43] Dark - lots of lights at road
[13:43] used flashlight
[13:43] briefed by detectives
[13:43] went to tree
[13:43] body mummified
[13:43] eyes gone
[13:44] destroyed by animals
[13:44] skin and muscles gone
[13:44] from below collarbones
[13:44] oh my dear lord
[13:44] legs gown to bone, foot absent
[13:44] he put body in body bag and sheet
[13:45] bagged hands, feet and head
[13:45] I guess it was a good place to leave a body if you wanted it destroyed
[13:45] hands were intact?
[13:45] what of clothing?
[13:45] there, but damages -
[13:45] no clothes
[13:45] he said no clothes also
[13:46] autopsy the next day
[13:46] bug expert at autopsy
[13:46] entolomogst on staff
[13:46] photos taken - about 15 on scene - 30 at 4 hour autopsy
[13:47] describe please
[13:47] seal on bag broken
[13:47] photos taken
[13:47] bags removed and given to lab
[13:47] photos taken
[13:47] trace evidenc - like clipping fingernails and mouth swabs taken then
[13:47] diagram made
[13:47] open chest and abdomen
[13:47] describe external exam
[13:48] animal activity and decomposition
[13:48] both earrings
[13:48] hair and earring described
[13:48] both earrings there -
[13:48] plastic necklace
[13:48] no clothes
[13:48] the back was missing from the left one
[13:48] face entact, mummiffied
[13:49] skin of face intact but mummified
[13:49] showing ME flyer
[13:49] face similar - but changed due to ...
[13:50] below ribcage, organs missing
[13:50] bowel parts missing, from animals
[13:51] chest organs intact
[13:51] fluid in pleural cavity - taken for exam
[13:51] heart and lungs seemed normal
[13:51] though decomposing
[13:51] bowel pulled from body
[13:51] all genitalia missing
[13:51] rectum partly there, severely decomposed
[13:51] heart normal
[13:51] lungs had some edema - better preserved than the rest of the organs
[13:51] below the rib cage
[13:51] missing rgans due to animal activity
[13:51] liver part there - bowel part here
[13:51] animals had been at her
[13:51] genitalia all missing
[13:51] swabbed what there was of the rectum
[13:51] swaps in pelvis
[13:52] but decomposed
[13:52] found bladder and was swapped
[13:52] all cells sloughed off and bacteria there
[13:52] tissue inside mouth swapped
[13:52] looking for any sexual activity
[13:52] 5 days only for semen to remain
[13:52] determine how long dead?
[13:52] long range only
[13:53] animal activity and decomp consistent with 3 1/2 weeks she was missing
[13:53] swabs of pelvis, but he swabbed area - - couldn't really tell what there was
[13:53] swabbed mouth
[13:53] inside mouth had deteriorated to - like mud
[13:53] how long had she been dead
[13:53] broad range - - can't pinpoint -
[13:53] consistant with the 3 1/2 weeks she had been missing
[13:53] other body or fluid samples?
[13:54] ITK said, and I quote, "its gonna get worse....much worse. hang on "
[13:54] no actual blood
[13:54] the medical examiner does not expect that sperm would last in the body after
[13:54] he was right
[13:54] sure was
[13:54] mummified hands
[13:54] hands were intact but mummified
[13:54] he said the most he found it last was 5 days
[13:55] mummified face as well
[13:55] is this the first DW has heard of the state of the body when found?
[13:55] not able to take fingerprints without rehydrating
[13:55] no genetalia left
[13:55] they took hands off and sent them to the lab
[13:55] hands removed
[13:55] but he did swab the bladder area
[13:55] dental records checked
[13:55] forensic dentist identified by dental records
[13:55] at autopsy
[13:55] Cause of death?
[13:56] Cause still pending
[13:56] pending, no injuries anatomical
[13:56] couldn't tell at autopsy
[13:56] injury or illness?
[13:56] no disease
[13:56] manner of death?
[13:56] manner of death - homicide
[13:56] congested lungs
[13:56] all circumstances, being missing, found decomposed
[13:57] anything at scene to determine cause of death?
[13:57] whole circumstance
[13:57] he said there was edema and congestion, and 80 cc of fluid in one lung and
50 on the other
[13:57] Too much decomposition
[13:57] he sent the fluid to the toxicologist
[13:57] 30 minute recess
CHAT WENT ON _ _ THIS IS NOT TESTIMONY!
[13:58] they have not come to that yet
[13:58] she was nude
[13:58] necklace on and earrings
[13:58] skin face intact
[13:58] (sask) could animals have pulled the clothing away?
[13:58] fingernails were clipped and examined.
[13:58] they would hve just opened what they wanted
[13:58] There would have been trace evidence of clothing if animals took it. Right?
[13:59] (sask) wonder if the police did find the earring backing somewhere
[13:59] prolly in the vacuum cleaner
[13:59] animals wouldn't take clothing
[13:59] was the blood found on stairway in VD home ? in VD garage?
[13:59] it may have been at scene...that hasn't been addressed yet
[13:59] blood on stairway, and near garage, LB
[13:59] court is on break - - they showed DW -
[14:00] on sidewalk, bloody drag marks at VD home
[14:00] I just don't see gult there, people
[14:00] present at autopsy: Det. Kaizer, 2 criminologists, Savage and Duheney, M>E>
[14:00] dragging at body scene could it be from animals dragging?
[14:00] DW seems to have a tremor
[14:00] i was thinking same thing jameson
[14:00] maybe early Parkinson?
[14:00] Feldman has questioned about blood on stairway, but there has not
been evidence to support that presented yet RIGHT?
[14:00] watch him - \
[14:00] he looks more worried than guilty to me
[14:00] Feldman got that info from a police report, Lav
[14:00] LP, is he shaking like in his initail appearance?
[14:00] no shakes
[14:00] at first a bit
[14:00] not that bad
[14:00] not now
[14:01] he is OK
[14:01] just seems like a man that is a place he never imagined he would be
[14:01] i thought the drag marks were at the site, not at the house, someone please
[14:01] maybe medicated, but not a zombie at all
[14:01] I saw mild tremor when the camera was close up on him today
[14:01] any emotion shown during testimony?
[14:01] Where's the police report. I'd love to read it.
[14:01] dragging at both scenes
[14:01] drag marks at house on sidewalk
[14:01] drag to the tree from the north - - the access road
[14:02] short drag mark at Dehesa?
[14:02] YOU MEAN SHE WS DRAGGEDFROM HER HOUSEO +
[14:02] blood on sidewalk at VDs and near chimeny
[14:02] i cannot believe this
[14:02] Damon vaccuumed before crime techs arrived
[14:02] blood on stairs in the home also right?
[14:02] blood on handrail
[14:02] and in the garage
[14:02] and no one heard that child being DRAGGED?
[14:02] Not IN the garage. Adjacent
[14:02] this is too much
[14:02] that is impossible
[14:03] Myunderstanding is the vacuuming was after the forensics team left
[14:03] blood not in garage, but near garage
[14:03] before crime techs or between techs and detective? I wasn't clear on that
[14:03] mine too
[14:03] i wouldnt do that....even if they had left
[14:03] i cannot believe they vacuumed...unless he just is stupid
[14:03] I thought it was before techs
[14:03] vacuum at 3:00am?
[14:03] is he some kind of a dumbass?
[14:03] but either way...vaccuuming??
[14:03] we heard friends were inthere cleaning up all the fingerprint stuff
[14:03] (sask) maybe this explains more about the search dog's response
[14:04] those cops tracked in a lot of dirt!
[14:04] no, 3 AM is when the cop was told about the vacuuming
[14:04] you know they had to have some cross contamination, then
[14:04] seems stupid to vaccuum, but what if a glass broke or a plant tipped over or he had a reason like that?
[14:04] just doesnt make sense
[14:04] Collins arrived 3 a.m.
[14:04] he was told about vaccuming later
[14:04] the drag marks to where ?
[14:04] I F my child was missing, i would preserve the site
[14:04] the vaccuming was only mentioned in the garage
[14:04] geez, parents shouldn't even have been in the house at that point
[14:05] Hi all
[14:05] you are right pigeon
[14:05] reports from interviews collins reviewed...those were the people in the house plus some
[14:05] others. long list of names.
[14:05] hi Kathy
[14:05] LP, let's wait and read the log :)
[14:05] This is KN
[14:05] seems that garage is the focus of many things
[14:05] hi Kathy
[14:05] that was a big mistake on the pd part
[16:49] swabbed some areas -
[16:49] regardingthose areas
[16:49] not strangulation
[16:49] rectum - - and another tubal area - could have been vagina, more likely bladder - he doesn't know for sure
[16:50] swabs went to the cops
[16:50] he says to deteriorated to tell
[16:50] won't say she was assaulted or not
[16:50] doesnt seem to know
[16:50] bck to get him to say likely not strangled
[16:51] no injury to the cartiledge nd bones in neck
[16:51] all the tissue went to cops....
[16:51] medical terms - - so many
[16:51] sorry - I am not getting this
[16:52] back of neck shows no evidence of strangulation
[16:52] lavidity indeterminable
[16:52] no evidence to injury to hyloid cartlige of something bone....
[16:53] cartoid bone i think
[16:53] appeared to be no petechaie
[16:54] in lining of larnyx
[16:54] how could they tell... i thought it was too badly decomposed
[16:54] certain organs were intact
[16:55] protected by ribs or close to grund
[16:55] petchaie are typically present in strangulation victims.
[16:55] petechaie are busted blood vessles
[16:56] he did it
[16:56] consistant w 2 1/2, 3 1/2 weeks decomposition
[16:56] he said -- the body sould have been there 2 1/2 - 3 1/2 weeks
[16:56] consistant with that
[16:57] consistant w/ being killed after 2/5/02 could be
[16:57] could be consistant w/ death after 2/5 - etc. etc.
[16:57] Feldman said - - then she culd have been killed after 2/5 - - and the ME said yes
[16:57] that would be consistant -
[16:57] after 6th? yes. 8th? Yes, 9th? Yes
[16:58] he is saying it could have been as late as the 12th
[16:59] so if they cant even prove WHEN she died any closer than that how can they win on a murder charge against dw?
[16:59] This is not good for the prosecution
[16:59] couple more questions
[16:59] they would have to havehis evidence on her - I think
[16:59] and they say her body is too decomposed to get that kind of evidence
[17:00] Feldman ends
[17:00] her hands might have it
[17:00] good point
[17:00] under her nails
[17:00] and fibers last
[17:00] i cant believe there would be any fibers after that long out in the open
[17:01] petechiaes not found, tissues where that could be fuond not present
[17:02] too decomposed
[17:02] sounds like da is trying to prove she could have been strangled... or smothered
[17:02] Feldman is back
[17:03] OK - - this just in from ME person to me - - the parents did NOT view the body - period
[17:03] Literature suggests fractures to face if asphixiation?
[17:03] no broken ribs
[17:04] ME has no direct evidence of axphixia
[17:04] DIRECT was emphasized
[17:05] No physical signs of asphixia present to ME
[17:05] Talking about fingernails.
[17:05] it seems to me they cant prove when she was killed.... or how.... so if they cant prove that how can they prove it was murder?....
[17:05] the lab had her hands
[17:05] the ME won't tell us what they found
[17:06] showing ME photo of body - he cringed
[17:06] BIGGY if they cant prove she didnt die accidently or of natural causes.........
[17:06] Prosecutiion back on, showing the photo to ME
[17:06] Prosecution resting
[17:06] DW is upset
[17:06] with witness
[17:07] where's his tie and coat???????
[17:07] this has been emotional -
[17:07] [17:07] Another doctor comin in now
[[17:07] what was he looking at?
[17:07] he is obviously shook up right now
[17:08] when he cringed
[17:08] dw saw the pic of her body....
[17:08] This would upsent anyone, innocent or guilty
[17:08] no kidding
[17:08] what the hell am I watching?
[17:08] Norman Sperbert?
[17:08] must be before lunch
[17:09] they better have more witnesses......
[17:09] two professions
[17:09] gen dentist and
[17:09] yes here in Washington
[17:09] forensic dentist
[17:09] cause so far all they have proven is that she died and decomposed...... not a BIT of evidence of who did it
[17:09] or how or when
[17:09] It is the cop who was there first
[17:09] so far this all goes to prove she was murdered - - not one word about why DW is suspect
[17:09] they will get to why DW did it
[17:10] e is talking about the cases he worked on
[17:10] such as drowning....
[17:10] a lot
[17:11] 4 - 5,000 victims in his career
[17:11] Ted Bundy, Henry HUbber
[17:11] to this case
[17:11] Jeffrey Dahmer
[17:11] WTC one week
[17:11] how can he sleep?
[17:11] what a job!
[17:12] notified 2/27/02
[17:12] he was called in and interrupted the autopsy to do his work
[17:12] post mortum 2/27/02 did his exam
[17:12] sorry, little one needs wiped
[17:13] mouth condition?
[17:13] decomposed, not much tone
[17:13] three teeth missing,
[17:13] one baby canine, two permanent front teeth missing
[17:14] locate teeth?
[17:14] one located w/ lateral x-ray
[17:14] in back there was a tooth there
[17:14] recovered and placed back in mouth
[17:14] photoed then
[17:14] in space where gum connects to teeth
[17:14] no idea where other two are
[17:15] Baker, her reg dentist provided his history x-rays
[17:15] teeth were consistent
[17:15] w/ 7 y.o.
[17:15] lower teeth were all present
[17:15] he compared the x-rays with those of her own dentist and made the match
[17:15] opinion identity?
[17:16] were w/o question of the same individual
[17:16] even though the xrays were taken in may of 01
[17:16] the 6 year molar were present
[17:17] by Feldman
[17:17] no, by other def attny
[17:17] You know, I watch DW and he is upset at times but I think it is just hearing the details of what was done. I think he is hearing it all for the first time as well. And to be accused of that!
[17:17] he did interrupt the autopsy to do his dental identification
[17:17] Trama to teeth?
[17:17] Missing teeth?
[17:17] the stuff that anchors tooth to bone decomposes
[17:18] and the teeth can loosen and fall out
[17:18] you're ahead of me Jams, go ahead
[17:18] just by moing body
[17:18] stages in death - - trying to get a time
[17:19] he says it depends on the conditions - temperature, dry or wet like in water
[17:19] commercial again!
[17:19] can't tell TOD he says
[17:20] Range of TOD?
[17:20] objection to range of TOD
[17:20] He can't judge TOD at all.
[17:21] Literature on TOD in his field/
[17:21] dentist said two teeth were missing...perms
[17:21] due to decomp laces
[17:21] no signs of fractiure or trauma
[17:21] can he say whether they just fell out with decompositon or if they were knocked out?
[17:21] lavender....he doesnt look like he did it
[17:22] going back.....
[17:22] sounds like he is leaning toward decomp causing it in my opinion
[17:22] cause of death?
[17:23] no signs of trauma
[17:23] could he tell anything about cause of death by the teeth? objection sustained
[17:23] what was the matter with that question?
[17:23] examine root system?
[17:23] appeared to be normal, free of trauma
[17:23] How much pressure to cause perms to come out
[17:24] Before decomp?
[17:24] I don't know
[17:24] he can't tell
[17:24] Can't tell the amt. of pressure
[17:24] depends on hor deep the roots were -
[17:24] He did notice the crown root ratio of front tooth was very long in relation to the root.
[17:24] Means with any kind of pressure would lever it out readily
[17:25] Can't say the amt. of pressure required
[17:25] If when alive, was mouth in good enough condition to tell if before or after decomp?
[17:25] Can't answer
[17:25] Done with witness
[17:26] not subject to recall
[17:26] Kristina Hoff?
[17:27 what was he trying to establish with that? if there was trauma? that knocked tooth out? or what
[17:27] where are the missing teeth?
[17:27] animals run off with the teeth also?
[17:27] Christina Hoff
[17:27] Court Tv is closing - catherine crier says she will cover it a bit
[17:28] did I get that spelling right/
[17:28] female on stand
[17:28] 3 teeth missing.... one found in the back of mouth... found it with xray
[17:28] familiar w/ DW?
[17:28] Weren't 2 of missing incisors baby teeth?
[17:28] does she know DW
[17:28] i thought 2 perms one baby
[17:28] one baby two perm
[17:28] she lives behind him
[17:28] ID's him
[17:29] DW neighbour?
[17:29] her house is higher than his
[17:29] hers sets above his house
[17:29] she can see into the back of his house from her upstairs
[17:29] identical floor plans
[17:29] can see entire rear of his house
[17:29] her bedroom looks into his rooms
[17:29] where is this leading????
[17:29] argung over if she can say what those roms are
[17:30] can see into his house
[17:30] has she seen in? Yes
[17:30] what see?
[17:30] what has she seen?
[17:30] all rear windows and rear door
[17:30] Thinks she can see into his bedroom
[17:30] she sees into a bedroom over there - she thinks it is his \
[17:31] asking for foundation
[17:31] she can say she sees A bedroom, not HIS
[17:31] can see into living area downstairs
[17:31] On 2/1 - to 2/2 was she home? yes
[17:31] in her bedroom from 10
[17:31] watching tv there
[17:31] superbowl stuff
[17:32] neighbour behind DW
[17:32] behind DW
[17:32] light of DW was on
[17:32] outside back light
[17:32] she turned off her TV and noticed his outside light was on
[17:32] shining into her room
[17:32] every or alot?
[17:32] 10 will get u 20 she is the reason the cops zeroed in on dw in the first place
[17:32] we are reporting - - shhh - - we have to edit out the talk
[17:32] between 2 and 2:30 infant was up
[17:33] she got up between 2 and 2:30 to deal with her infant son
[17:33] went back to bed and got up again because of lght\
[17:33] the light disturbed her
[17:33] check out light?
[17:33] she looked out
[17:33] andshe saw the house was closed up - all curtains closed
[17:33] got up and looked, DW blinds all closed up, unusual
[17:33] she thought he must have left town
[17:33] he doens't usuallly shut them all up
[17:33] all blinds shut was unusual
[17:34] back door blind shut tight too, never seen thta before
[17:34] seemed unusual
[17:34] did he have any RV's yes
[17:34] saw RV parked out front
[17:34] loading and unloading
[17:34] parks it on Brierleaf
[17:34] had seen him loading and unloading before
[17:34] on the corner of his house
[17:35] Side street is Brierleaf
[17:35] Des. custom for operation RV?
[17:35] his customs
[17:35] he would park it there for days before a trip
[17:35] also has a buggy trailer
[17:35] how long get ready?
[17:35] from that day to a couple prior
[17:35] day or two
[17:35] parked there afterwards, unloading
[17:35] after a trip? he would park it there again
[17:35] report to police?
[17:36] When aware of Danielle?
[17:36] 11:00a that morning
[17:36] Heard helicopter
[17:36] she knew about the disappearance at about 11 am
[17:36] their home was check
[17:36] by canine too
[17:36] cops interviews them and dogs in home
[17:37] here comes Feldman?
[17:37] Patio light on, blinds closed
[17:37] normal Friday night for her?
[17:37] Dispatcher for CA hiway
[17:37] She is
[17:38] Did she work on that Fri?
[17:38] What days off?
[17:38] parttiem TW or WTH
[17:38] Did not work FSorS
[17:39] RV Qs
[17:39] Did NOT see RV that night
[17:39] About when there
[17:39] When see it there for days before trip
[17:39] Loading and unloading talk
[17:39] coming and goin
[17:40] Did not actually see him actually IN it
[17:40] would see RV equip there
[17:40] Would see him outside
[17:40] Never saw him step into it or step out of it
[17:40] just around it
[17:41] just occasionally saw him, didn't set and watch him
[17:41] door of RV open or closed
[17:41] Doesn't know where he would go when he took the RV
[17:42] Assumed the desert
[17:42] enclosed trailer
[17:42] doors open
[17:42] RV would reappear
[17:42] atv's in trailer
[17:42] never washed or hosed down that she saw
[17:42] DW kid Qs
[17:42] assumed son lived there
[17:42] saw sons car often
[17:43] son in/out of RV?
[17:43] can't put him actually IN it
[17:43] around it outside yes
[17:43] unusal activities?
[17:43] yes, unusual
[17:43] Hubby is a sgt w/ hiwya pat
[17:44] son in/out of RESIDENCE (not rv)
[17:44] worked friday
[17:44] returned aroudn 11:00?
[17:44] she was asleep, doesn't know for sure
[17:44] when first notice blinds closed?
[17:44] when infant woke around 2-2:30a
[17:44] didnt notice before then
[17:44] DID notice the patio light was on when she went to be
[17:45] around 10:30 or 11
[17:45] bright in her room at 10:30
[17:45] she did NOT notice the blinds were closed at that time.
[17:45] Noticed blinds at 2-2:30
[17:45] Noticed light 10:30 - 11:00
[17:45] Tell hubby next day?
[17:45] about lights?
[17:45] doesn't recall
[17:46] She told the police
[17:46] When first tell?
[17:46] a couple of days after disappearance
[17:46] unusual that house closed up
[17:46] been ?ed several times
[17:46] she went down to the police station
[17:46] you or hubby go?
[17:46] She did
[17:47] Det called hubby told something -- missed it
[17:47] my connectiongoes bad every once in a while. sorry
[17:47] unusual for her to go to command post
[17:48] fam. w/ giving info aobut crimes yes
[17:48] aware info gets to off. asap
[17:48] she asked for det in charge of case to tell about the lights and blinds
[17:48] when she walked to the command post
[17:49] left 4p returned 9p
[17:49] on fri
[17:49] Police helicopter overhead is how she learned
[17:49] was aware of search, police officer came to her house
[17:50] two det. knocked on door after the whole neighborhood was taped off
[17:50] comm. meeting at 6p to see what they could do to help
[17:50] knocked on door at 5 something
[17:50] she did not talk w/ det. hubby did
[17:51] police not in uniform
[17:51] searched her home w/ dog
[17:51] present? no
[17:51] when? Mon
[17:51] when dog search?
[17:53] two instances police were there
[17:53] 1st tiem was when the 2 det were there
[17:53] 2nd w/ canine
[17:53] not home when canine there
[17:53] can't remember if she was there
[17:54] there when police contacted DW in driveway?
[17:54] FEb 4 Mon?
[17:54] Home? She doesn't know when they contacted DW
[17:54] didn't note it.
[17:54] She went to table on Monday.
[17:54] She did notice sonarriving.
[17:54] backpack w/ him watching
[17:55] the next week DW was arrested
[17:55] Then she gave the info on the blinds and lights.
[17:55] Westerfield's son arrived Monday 2/4; son watched activity in neighbor; had backback
[17:56] First time blinds and lights reported w/i FIRST week. Not AFTER arrest
[17:56] They had been in the house
[17:56] after that
[17:56] gave info on blinds within the 1st week
[17:56] knew vehicles had been impounded before she reported it
[17:56] she didn't read the newspapers
[[17:56] AFTER his photo had been in the media
[[17:57] had seen him on tv
[17:57] she saw the impounding coverage
[17:57] saw police saying he was not a suspect
[17:57] talk w/ hubby about blinds lights?
[17:57] object sus
[17:58] ON sat notice blinds?
[17:58] Yes, closed
[17:58] can't answer for sun
[17:59] He has a POOL
[17:59] mon ?
[17:59] can't recall on mom
[17:59] i KNEW i heard something about a pool
[17:59] Once police were on him, blinds were a little bit cracked open
[17:59] which day?
[17:59] one of the days the evidence persons were there
[17:59] she knows for sure sat, blinds because she looked over fence into pool, knowing child was milling
[17:59] blinds were cracked open
[18:00] BBQ on Fri?
[18:00] in DW?
[18:00] Week before that Fri?
[18:00] dont' recall
[18:00] child "missing" not milling
[18:00] week before that friday party?
[18:01] saw tech inside
[18:01] NOthing further by def
[18:02] Fri Feb. 1, around 4:00
[18:02] see RV? no
[18:02] Didn't see him or his RV or packing of RV that Friday
[18:02] Witness done
[18:03] break til 10 after 3 and will go until 4:30 PCFTIME
Thanks (again)..Great recap
|San Diego Police Lt. Jim Collins, holding a photo of 7-year-old Danielle van Dam, answers questions Monday, March 11, 2002, during the preliminary hearing for David Westerfield in San Diego. Westerfield, 50, is charged with kidnapping and murder in the disappearance and death of van Dam, who was reported missing Feb. 2 from her San Diego home. (AP Photo/Dan Trevan, Pool)
- Mar 11 7:56 PM ET
|Judge Ronald Domnitz makes a point to attorneys during David Westerfield's preliminary hearing in San Diego court Monday, March 11, 2002. Westerfield is accused of kidnapping and murdering 7-year-old Danielle van Dam of San Diego. (AP Photo/Dan Trevan, Pool)
- Mar 11 7:51 PM ET
|David Westerfield listens to arguments during a preliminary hearing Monday, March 11, 2002, in San Diego, Calif. Westerfield is charged with kidnapping and murder in the disappearance and death of Danielle van Dam, who was reported missing Feb. 2 from her San Diego home. (AP Photo/Dan Trevan, Pool)
- Mar 11 7:47 PM ET
|County Medical Examiner Dr. Brian Blackbourne answers questions on the witness stand during a preliminary hearing for David Westerfield in San Diego, Monday, March 11, 2002. Westerfield is charged with kidnapping and murder in the disappearance and death of Danielle van Dam. (AP Photo/Dan Trevan, Pool)
- Mar 11 7:49 PM ET
|San Diego Police Department Lt. Jim Collins answers questions while holding a photo of missing 7-year-old Danielle van Dam, during a preliminary hearing for David Westerfield, Monday, March 11, 2002, in San Diego. Westerfield is charged with kidnapping and murder in the disappearance and death of van Dam, who was reported missing Feb. 2 from her San Diego home. (AP Photo/Dan Trevan, Pool)
- Mar 11 7:49 PM ET
|David Westerfield listens during the preliminary hearing in downtown San Diego court of his alledged kidnapping and murder of seven-year-old Danielle van Dam, March 11, 2002. He is accused of abducting van Dam from her Sabre Springs home in early February. REUTERS/POOL/Dan Trevan
- Mar 11 7:14 PM ET
|David Westerfield (L) listens as his attorney Steven Feldman (R) addresses a preliminary hearing on the kidnapping and murder of seven-year-old Danielle van Dam on March 11, 2002. Westerfield, a 50-year-old neighbor of the van Dam's, who has pleaded innocent to the girl's kidnapping and murder and to possession of child pornography, showed no emotion during the testimony before San Diego Superior Court Judge H. Ronald Domnitz. REUTERS/Dan Trevan/POOL
- Mar 10 9:10 PM ET
|San Diego County Medical Examiner Dr. Brian Blackbourne answers questions on the witness stand during a preliminary hearing for David Westerfield in San Diego court, March 11, 2002. Westerfield is charged with the kidnapping and murder of Danielle van Dam from her Sabre Springs home in early February. Behind Blackbourne is judge Ronald Domnitz. REUTERS/POOL/Dan Trevan
- Mar 10 9:04 PM ET
|Brenda van Dam wipes a tear from her eye during news conference Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2002, outside her home in San Diego. Van Dam had just returned from the arraignment of David Westerfield, the suspect charged with kidnapping and murder in the disappearance of the van Dam's seven-year-old daughter Danielle. (AP Photo/Jack Smith)|
|Damon van Dam (L) and his wife Brenda van Dam (C) react alongside their friend Susan Wintersteen (R) while they talk about the arrest of the van Dam's neighbor David Westerfield for the kidnapping of their seven-year-old daughter Danielle van Dam during an news conference at their San Diego home, February 22, 2002. Danielle disappeared from her home on February 1, and even with the arrest of Westerfield, the search continues for Danielle. REUTERS/Fred Greaves|
This is interesting. So little has been said about Westerfield's children. Was the son polygraphed I wonder.
This was new to me. Can anyone elaborate on what was said on this issue?
Did you mean Wintersteen?
|Little girl lost
Lawyers dispute evidence in the case of David Westerfield, a San Diego man charged with kidnapping and killing the 7-year-old child of his neighbors
I remember in the days just after the Jon Benet murder, the police chief of Boulder, CO came on TV and said that they would get their man, after all "this isn't Los Angeles". I knew right then that they were fried. Any high profile case is hard for the prosecution to win. The defense (and it looks like Feldman is worth his price) will put the police department, the forensics collectors, the medical examiners on trial.
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