Body found in Ariz. lake confirmed as Colorado woman
DEL NORTE, Colo. – A seven-year mystery surrounding the disappearance of a young Colorado mother of two has ended with confirmation that her body was found in a barrel in an Arizona lake.
Rio Grande County, Colo., authorities said Tuesday that DNA tests determined the body found last June in Lyman Lake was Danice Day.
She was 19 when she disappeared from the southern Colorado town of Monte Vista in 2002.
Authorities got the DNA test results Friday. The cause of death hasn’t been determined, and investigators haven’t said how her body ended up in Arizona.
Rio Grande County District Attorney David Mahonee said 33-year-old Victor Braun, Day’s boyfriend and the father of one of her children, will be charged with manslaughter.
Sheriff Brian Norton said investigators found Day’s body through “negotiations” between Braun’s attorney and prosecutors.
Mahonee said without information from Braun, Day’s body might never have been found.
“There were time problems,” he told the Valley Courier in Alamosa. “This is a 7-year-old case and without the cooperation of the suspect and his attorney, we probably would not have been able to locate Danice.”
Braun’s attorney’s name wasn’t immediately available. Neither Mahonee nor Norton returned telephone messages left by The Associated Press Wednesday.
Braun is in the Rio Grande County jail on unrelated burglary, drug and motor vehicle theft charges. Those charges are still pending.
He is scheduled to appear in court in the Day case on Nov. 3.
Day’s father, Rod Day, said the DNA confirmation brings some resolution to the family.
“I have been waiting for 71/2 years to find out where my daughter was. Now I know where she is,” he said.
“Am I angry?” he added. “You bet you I am angry.”
Divers first searched Lyman Lake in late May and found a barrel, but Norton said it turned out to be unrelated to Day’s disappearance. A second search in June turned up another barrel with what turned out to be Day’s body.
One of Day’s children, a daughter, is being raised by Victor Braun’s father. The other, a son, is being raised by his own father.
Day once lived in Laramie, Wyo., where her mother still lives.
Information from: Valley Courier, http://www.alamosanews.com