Was David Westerfield Wrongly Convicted?
Guilty Beyond a Reasonable Doubt?
Other Westerfield Sites
Contact Us


Background information on the David Westerfield case:

  • Sometime during the night of February 1st or early morning of February 2nd, 2002, 7-year-old Danielle van Dam disappeared from her home in Sabre Springs, California.
  • Within 48 hours, neighbor David Westerfield emerged as the only suspect. 
  •  Westerfield was arrested on February 22 and on February 26th, he was charged with murder, kidnapping, and possession of child pornography.
  • On February 27, Danielle's body was found in Dehesa, CA. The condition of her body made it impossible to determine the manner of her death, or whether she'd been sexually molested.
  • Based on the fact that some of Danielle's teeth appeared to have been knocked out, the prosecution believed she suffocated by having something stuffed into her mouth.
  • Westerfield attorney Robert Boyce attacked the credibility of police investigators, saying they "falsified and misrepresented facts of the case and the circumstances of Westerfield's detention and questioning."
  • Police kept Westerfield in their custody for 3 days without sleep, without allowing him to call an attorney, call his family, or go home.
  • Police ignored Westerfield's twenty-two requests for an attorney, his six requests to stop the interview or to go home, the five requests he made for a phone, and his three complaints about a lack of sleep.


David Westerfield


When Westerfield returned home the morning of February 4th, SDPD detectives Keene and Parga questioned him about his activities  of that weekend.  Westerfield allowed them to search his home and vehicles. 

E-mail DAWinfo

Questions I'd Like to Have Answered

Question #1 for San Diego LE:  Is it true that there was blood and fingerprints found in the van Dam home that matched no one in the family and none of the van Dam friends?  Blood and fingerprints that were never matched to anyone, but ruled out as belonging to David Westerfield?

Question #2:  Is it true that a dark brown, possibly Asian or Hispanic type hair was found under Danielle van Dam's body and a brown hair found in her armpit?  Hair that did not belong to David Westerfield but was never checked against the sex offenders in any state DNA data bank? 

Question #3:  Is it true that a condom wrapper was found beside Danielle's body that was never checked for fingerprints?

Question #4:  Is it true that tire prints and shoe prints were found at the dump site when Danielle's body was recovered?

Question #5:  Is it true that a bloodhound named Maggie Mae tracked Danielle's scent to a vacant house next to the van Dams and not to David Westerfield's property? *1

Question #6:  Is it true that police detective Michael Ott checked out evidence marked property tag #MWO3863 and that particular piece of evidence was Westerfield's jacket which was claimed to have Danielle's DNA on it? *2

Question #7:  How is it possible that 5 of the 6 experts who testified, agreed that Danielle van Dam had been dead anywhere from 4-6 weeks making it impossible for David Westerfield to have left her body at the Dehesa recovery site?  David Westerfield was under constant police surveillance from February 5th, 2002 until his arrest.

Question #8:  Why was DNA extract from the purported blood stain on Westerfield's jacket sent to Orchid Cellmark for testing, rather than a cut out of the actual jacket? *3

Question #9:  San Diego  police confiscated a green jacket belonging to Westerfield from a local dry cleaner and testified that this jacket had a stain containing Danielle's blood.  Why are there no photographs of the jacket before it was cut up by lab techs?

  • --William C. Rodriguez, forensic anthropoligist, estimated Danielle died between Jan. 17 and Jan. 31 (Danielle didn't disappear until February 2nd), but pressed by prosecutors, expanded time frame to include Feb. 1 to Feb. 6.
  • --Robert D. Hall, forensic entomologist, said, the victim's body was infested by the blow flies "no later than Feb. 23, 2002 and no earlier than February the 12th, 2002."
  • --M. Lee Goff, forensic entomologist, estimated time of death was Feb. 9 to Feb. 14.
  • --David K. Faulkner, forensic entomologist, estimated time of death to be Feb. 16 to Feb. 18.
  • --Neal Haskell, forensic entomologist, estimated time of death as Feb. 14 to Feb. 21
  • --Brian Blackbourne, San Diego Medical Examiner, testified that Danielle died between Feb. 1 and Feb. 18.

*1) North County Times article Father goes on search for abducted daughter dated February 12, 2002 by staff writer Yvette Urrea, and CNN.com article Neighbor still 'potential suspect' in missing girl case dated February 14, 2002.

*2) Transcript of David Westerfield Preliminary Hearing, date March 12, 2002, page 342.

*3) Transcript of David Westerfield trial, date June 20, 2002, testimony of Lewis Maddox, Orchid Cellmark labratory.

Show your support. Visit

Support This Site