The Investigation Discovery program “Till Death Do Us Part: Blood is Thicker Than Water” follows the July 2003 murder of Heather DeWild in Edgewater, Colorado.
The episode is about how hard it was to find the people who committed the wrongdoing and how long it took for justice to be served. If you’re curious as to who did it and where they are now, you’ve come to the right place. Shall we start then?
How did Heather DeWild die?
David “Dave” Springer, a retired Denver police officer, and Carole Springer gave birth to Heather Jean Springer DeWild on April 21, 1973. She had two sisters named Rebecca and Jennifer, and they said she was a fun-loving and kind person. She married Daniel “Dan” Donald DeWild and they had two children together: Jacob and Hannah. But by 2003, their relationship had gone badly, and she wanted a divorce. On July 22, Dan went to her parents’ home in Arvada, Colorado, with flowers to try to save the relationship one last time. But Heather, who was 20 at the time, said no.
Heather had to go to Edgewater, Colorado on July 24, 2003 to sign a check and get her health insurance cards from her soon-to-be ex-husband. Despite being forbidden by her mother, she decided to go over and take the kids to avoid a fight. But when she didn’t come back, Carole called Dan to see how her daughter was doing. Dan told her that she left the kids with him when they went shopping.
Heather’s parents knew something was wrong, so Carole drove over to pick up Heather and her brother. Heather was very protective of her children and would never leave them alone, especially with someone she had fought for custody of. Carole found out her daughter’s car had been stolen but she had left all her cash and credit cards at home. Heather’s parents told police she was missing, so they went in search of her.
Curtis Johnson, a road worker, moved earth on September 4, 2003 along a canyon road westbound off US Highway 6 in Clear Creek Canyon. He found Heather’s body in a shallow grave. She was long dead. The body was wrapped in garbage bags and duct tape was used to cover her face. She was wearing the same clothes she had last seen. The body had disintegrated so badly that the coroner couldn’t figure out what killed the person. But they found that her facial bones and skull were broken in many places, and it was suggested she may have died of asphyxiation.
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Who took the life of Heather DeWild?
Investigators began examining Heather DeWild’s husband Dan long before her body was found. They also found out that Dan had a twin brother named David Norman DeWild who lived in Dan’s house with his ex-girlfriend, Mary Roseanne. They became suspicious when they found out that David had taken his car 15 miles away for repairs, despite being a qualified mechanic like his brother. The detectives thought they planned to get rid of Heather together.
Police went to Dan’s home but found no sign of a crime. They returned six days later with a search warrant. A trained cadaver dog found the smell of a dead body in David’s car, but everything had been cleaned, so there was no evidence. The next day, David shocked everyone by marrying Mary. Police later found out he did it quickly to prevent them from testifying against him in court, just in case.
On August 4, 2003, police found Heather’s white Sentra in the parking lot of a Wheat Ridge apartment building. People living there said the car had been there for a few days. Detectives found nothing in the car because it had been cleaned so well there was no sign Heather had ever been in it. A month later, Heather’s body, long dead, was also found and registered as a murder. The garbage bags used to wrap the body were of the same grade as those from Dan’s house.
But none of this directly connected Dan to the murder. Those were all just hints. Even a DNA test wouldn’t help as Dan and David are identical twins and it would be impossible to tell if the DNA was from Dan or David. In the end, the case stayed cold until 2009, when new investigators found new evidence. They found a sextape of Dan voluntarily tying up Heather. The knots on the tape looked like the knots on her dead body. They also found that Dan had set up an online dating profile before Heather’s body was found, in which he said he was a widower.
Investigators also spoke to Dan’s neighbor Rick Kensington, who said, “He (Dan) was upset about the divorce. He said Heather would ruin his life and take everything. He said he didn’t like paying child support. But the most compelling evidence came from one person who said they saw Dan, David and Mary early that morning in the same spot where Heather’s body was later found.
All three were arrested on December 14, 2011 on first-degree murder and a murder plot. But they might not have been found guilty if David, then 41, had not turned on his brother. He pled guilty to conspiracy in August 2012, several months before the murder trial. David admitted that he helped his brother kill Heather because he didn’t have to pay child support and wanted to lose full-time custody of the children.
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What is Dan DeWild doing now?
David struck a deal that saw the murder charges dropped, and he pleaded guilty only to conspiracy to commit second-degree murder in exchange for testifying against Dan at the November 2012 trial. But Dan pleaded not guilty and said he didn’t know anything about Heather’s death. His attorney said David was the one who killed Heather. Dan was found guilty of plotting to kill someone in the first degree, but the jury couldn’t agree on whether he actually killed someone in the first degree.
The trial ended in a mistrial, but Dan didn’t want to go to a second trial and risk getting a life sentence. The 50-year-old man struck a deal and pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in February 2013. He was sentenced to 74 years in prison, which he is still serving at Colorado State Penitentiary. According to his prison record, he will be released from prison in May 2045.
Back in December, we told you about a lull in the 2003 murder case of Heather DeWild. She disappeared two days before her divorce from Daniel DeWild was due to be finalized. In that case, murder charges were brought against Daniel, his twin brother David, and David’s wife Roseanne. Now, months before Daniel faces trial, David has pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges.
The timing of his change suggests that David may have decided to testify against his twin. Pam Russell, a spokeswoman for Jefferson County District Attorney Scott Storey, cannot comment as Daniel and Roseanne’s trials are ongoing. Roseanne’s pretrial conference is scheduled for August 20. But she told us about the case late last year.
Russell said at the time that “after a rush of activity around the time of the crime, the case went a little cold.”
When Scott became district attorney in 2005, Heather’s parents contacted him. Scott felt compelled to continue the investigation and promised to solve the case and bring Heather justice.”
As we reported, DeWild was last seen meeting Daniel at a McDonald’s to “talk about a check he had received in their two names and to pick up health insurance forms for their two young children,” as Daniel’s father told the Associated Press shortly after she went missing on July 24, 2003. Although no body had yet been found, the Jeffco prosecutor’s office considered asking a grand jury to try the case within days.
Then, in September, Heather’s badly decomposing body was found in a shallow grave near Highway 6 westbound. She was still wearing the same clothes she had last seen. The body was in garbage bags taped together, and rope was tied loosely around her neck and wrists.
Here are some things you should know about twins: Even before they are born, they begin to get close. As children grow up, they often develop their own secret languages that only they can understand. Many people say that Geminis have a strong psychic connection. This connection is so strong that if a twin is across the country in a car accident, the other twin will know about it. Gemini have one of the strongest, unbreakable and mysterious relationships among people. Even their DNA is the same. More often than not, being a Gemini is a rare and even desirable gift.
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