Just two days before 30-year-old Heather DeWild went missing, her estranged husband showed up to her parents’ home in Arvada (CO) with flowers and a card in an attempt to reconcile their marriage that would officially be over in a week. Things must have not went as Daniel DeWild was hoping because he left the home angry.
Two days later on July 24, 2003, Heather met Daniel at his home in Edgewater (CO) where he was living with his identical twin brother, David, and his brother’s then-girlfriend, Roseanne. She was there to get a check signed that had both of their names on it and to pick up insurance cards for their kids. Heather had brought along their two children, then ages 5 and 3, because she didn’t want to be alone with her estranged husband.
This is the last time her kids, or anyone else, would see her.
According to Daniel, Heather had left their two kids with him to go run some errands and shop but never returned. Her father, Dave Springer, was a veteran of the Denver Police Department and his instinct told him something was wrong when she never returned home. He knew something had to have happened to his daughter and he suspected her soon-to-be ex-husband had something to do with it.
When police searched the last place Heather was known to be, they didn’t find any signs of foul play. They did, however, find the insurance cards that she was supposed to pick up and the check she brought for him to sign. The police didn’t have much else to go on. Heather hadn’t been seen since she had been at Daniel’s house and her car was missing (also the “no signs of foul play” thing).
Police later learned that David, who is a professional mechanic, had taken his Suburban to be repaired 15 miles away. That seemed suspicious so police brought in a trained cadaver dog. It just so happened that the dog in fact picked up a scent of decomposition in David’s vehicle.
A day after receiving the news that a dog had picked up the scent of decomposition, David and Roseanne got married. She later said the reason it happened so suddenly was “just in case” since spouses don’t have to testify against each other.
Then, on August 4, 2003, the police located Heather’s white Sentra in the parking lot of a Wheat Ridge apartment complex with the passenger side window rolled down. Residents said the car had been there for several days.
Detectives searched her car all day and recovered items that they would later send to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation for further examinations. At the time they wouldn’t disclose what those items found were or if there were any signs of a struggle or blood, or even if the keys were inside.
It turns out, Heather’s car had been completely wiped down. No fingerprints were found, not even her own. Also a bloodhound scent line up suggested that Daniel was the last one to drive the vehicle.
Investigators searched a wooded area south of the apartment complex her car was found at. They used bloodhounds, thermal photography, and a police helicopter. Their search didn’t turn up any clues that would lead them to where Heather was.
Exactly a month after her car was found, on September 4, 2003, Heather’s body was found in a shallow grave just off westbound U.S. Highway 6 in Clear Creek Canyon west of Golden, near mile marker 262.5 and between tunnels two and three. Her body was uncovered by a road worker who was moving dirt on a canyon road.
Her body was so badly decomposed that they had to use dental records to identify her. Also an official cause of death could not be determined, but the manner of death was listed as homicide. She had, however, suffered skull fractures and extensive fracturing of the facial bones. It was thought that she was smothered or choked to death.
She was found wearing the same clothes she had on the day she disappeared. There was rope wrapped around her neck and wrists. Her face was covered by a mask made out of duct tape. Her body had been wrapped up in trash bags that were secured with duct tape.
The trash bags used to wrap up Heather’s body matched the general class characteristics of bags taken from the DeWild home. Other than that, they didn’t have any other evidence to point who committed the murder. No physical evidence and no DNA. Even if they did have blood evidence from either Daniel or David, there would be no way to prove which one of the twins committed the crime since they were identical and likely shared the same DNA.
In 2005, Heather’s family asked the then-new district attorney, Scott Story, to look into her case. Story committed to getting her family some type of closure and set up a task force. It wouldn’t be until over 5 years after this that anyone would be arrested for her murder.
Finally on December 14, 2011 Daniel DeWild, David DeWild (his identical twin brother), and Roseanne DeWild (David’s now-wife) were all three arrested and being held as suspects in the murder case of Heather DeWild.
Each were charged with murder in the first degree and conspiracy to commit murder in the first degree.
The indictment suggested that the three of them then subdued Heather and removed her from the home. Her car and body were then disposed of, and the three made a pact of silence.
In the same document, it was said that detectives thought that it would have taken all three of the suspects to carry out the murder and cover up. One of the suspects drove Heather’s Sentra from the Edgewater home to dump it in Wheat Ridge while another suspect followed in a different vehicle to take the driver of the Sentra back home. The third suspect stayed home to watch the children.
Phone records show that there were 14 calls between David, Daniel, and Roseanne in a 4 hour period around the time of Heather’s disappearance. With new technology, investigators were able to get the geographical location of each of them during those calls. David’s cell phone pinged right by where Heather’s car was found, calling his brother and girlfriend from that location.
According to the indictment, it was thought that the rope and duct tape had been staged to suggest that the crime was committed by a killer during a sex act and not but a close family member.
In a surprising turn of events, David DeWild flipped on his twin brother and gave intimate details of the murder.
In his testimony, David said that he and Daniel had been plotting Heather’s murder shortly after she filed for divorce and they watched TV crime shows for tips to help them avoid detection. He said that Daniel used a rubber mallet to hit Heather in the head. He said his brother then put a noose around her neck, hung her by a pulley system in the rafters of the garage, tied her hands to make it look like a sex act gone bad, and wrapped her in plastic trash bags.
David DeWild was sentenced to 12 years in prison when he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder on January 24, 2013. His wife, Roseanne, spent 8 months behind bars before the conspiracy charges against her were dropped.
Daniel DeWild was sentenced to 75 years in prison when he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder on Feburary 28, 2013.