David Westerfield became the prime suspect solely based on Brenda van Dam’s declaration.
On February 5th 2002 at 2:00 am, detective Alldredge had a conference call with Judge Cynthia Bashant, the purpose of the call was to obtain a warrant to search Westerfield’s car, house and RV.
Detective Alldredge gave verbal statements to Judge Bashant indicating the main reason for the search warrant to be delivered.
Extract from Detective Alldredge sworn statement:
On February 2nd 2002, Detective Alldredge questioned Brenda Van Dam for two hours. Brenda Van Dam declared that she arrived at Dad’s cafe around 8pm on February 1st 2002 and discovered that two male friends were already at the bar. Brenda and friends started playing pool and video games, a neighbor, David Westerfield, approached her and started playing pool with the girls.
Detective Alldredge questioned Brenda Van Dam about her conversation with others at the bar and asked if she mentioned anything about children to anyone at the bar, including Westerfield.
Brenda Van Dam stated she didn’t discuss anything about her family to anyone in the bar.
Detective Alldredge told Brenda Van Dam that it was important for her to remember conversations as it may lead to other possible suspects.
Brenda Van Dam stated she remembered one of her friend kidding her about a mother saying “You’re such a mother”, she stated an unknown male in the bar overhead the statement and said: ”
You’re a mother?”,
Brenda replied: “yes I have three kids”.
The unknown male said: “You don’t look like a mother” and laughed.
Brenda Van Dam stated she believed the male was using the statement as a pick-up line, and Brenda Van Dam stated again that she did not talk about any family members to persons in the bar.
On February 4th 2002, David Westerfield arrived around 8:30 am, police told him about the missing victim, Westerfield gave a written consent for police to search his house and motorhome.
Officers explained to David Westerfield that they wanted to have a rescue canine search the house to attempt to discover a scent of the victim. Westerfield agreed.
The dog Hopi (1) entered the garage and displayed an interest towards the garage door. The canine’s handler stated Hopi’s interest was not an alert.
Westerfield told police that Brenda Van Dam, Danielle and her brother had recently been in his house selling cookies and Westerfield stated that the children ran around inside the house, including upstairs, downstairs, in the garage and out in the patio to visit the pool.
Brenda Van Dam told Detective Alldredge that her children never went upstairs nor into the garage.
Westerfield stated that at the bar, Brenda Van Dam talked to him about her daughter Danielle and told him about an upcoming event, a father/daughter dance at school coming up the next week.
Westerfield also stated that Brenda Van Dam told him about a new blouse she had purchased for Danielle and how Danielle’s father was concerned about how fast his little girl was growing up.
On February 4th 2002, police recontacted Brenda Van Dam who confirmed she had not told anyone about the upcoming father/daughter dance, according to Brenda Van Dam, the only persons aware of the dance were the immediate family and one neighbor next door, not David Westerfield.
Extract from Brenda Van Dam’s testimony:
Mr. Dusek: do you recall anything about a father/daughter dance discussion?
Brenda Van Dam: I may have talked about the father/daughter dance. it was coming up the following thursday.
Mr. Dusek: whose father/daughter dance?
Brenda Van Dam: Danielle’s.
Mr. Dusek: who was she supposed to be going with?
Brenda Van Dam: Damon.
Mr. Dusek: when was that coming up?
Brenda Van Dam: it was on thursday night at the school.
Mr. Dusek: the following thursday after the night at Dad’s ?
Brenda Van Dam: yes.
Mr. Dusek: do you recall who you were talking with about that?
Brenda Van Dam: No. I know I told Denise and Barbara. I may have told Mr. Westerfield.
Four months after Brenda Van Dam’s declaration to Detective Alldredge pointing toward David Westerfield, on June 6th 2002, Brenda Van Dam testified under oath that she doesn’t recall who she talked to at the bar about the dance, she talked about the “father/daughter dance” to Denise and Barbara and that she might have told Westerfield about it.
That means everyone at the bar could know about the dance, Denise knew about the dance, Barbara knew about the dance, the one neighbor next door knew about the dance, the immediate family members knew about the dance and Westerfield knew about the dance and police knew that Brenda AND Damon Van Dam lied since the first hour of the investigation.
Further questioning of Detective Alldredge:
Q: And the property (2) you are looking for, do you think it is relevant to the matter involved here, that is a missing child?
Alldredge: “It is in fact, several of the items were items that the victims was wearing including the earrings.”
Q: “Based on your training and experience, you did say that you believe a portion of the described property will be found in the described location or on the described person or in the described vehicles?”
Alldredge: “That is correct”.
To make all the above shorter, Alldredge obtained a search warrant because Brenda Van Dam stated she didn’t discuss anything about her family to anyone in the bar. Because Brenda Van Dam stated that her children never went upstairs nor into the garage of Westerfield and because he was certain that a portion of the property described in the warrant will be found at Westerfield’s.
Because of Brenda Van Dam constantly denying having told anyone about her family, Alldredge deducted that only Danielle Van Dam could have told Westerfield about the daughter-father dance and only after she had been abducted.
Detectives Alldrege also wrote that Westerfield “matches FBI profiles (3) regarding a possible suspect of an abduction” and that several strands of blond hair were found on the floor of his Toyota 4Runner.
Further questioning of Detective Alldrege:
Q: Detective Alldredge, let me ask you this. You referred to an FBI profiler. Do you have any information regarding the training and experience of the profilers?
Alldrege: I do not. They did not — they were supposed to send me– or fax me their experience, and I did not receive it prior to this warrant.
WAS DAVID WESTERFIELD FRAMED?
Brenda Van Dam declared that “the only persons who are aware of the dance are the immediate family members and one neighbor next door, not Westerfield”, she repeated this statement several times after Detective Alldrege told her that it was important for her to remember conversations as it may lead to other possible suspects.
If search warrants were obtained on the basis of false statements, what is the validity of the warrants and what is the validity of any material seized in or out of Westerfield’s house?
When searching Westerfield’s house, car and RV, what did Alldredge found (3) relevant to a child kidnapping (according to the items he listed on the warrant)?
(1) Hopi is a search and rescue dog owned by a private citizen, it is not a police dog.
(2) Property listed by Alldredge. This is the list of items Alldredge was certain to find at Westerfield’s: carpet samples, drain traps, photos of Westerfield, DNA swabs, mouth swabs, children’s pajamas, children’s clothing, children’s necklace, Mickey Mouse set of earrings, unlaudered clothing, shoes, cameras, photographs, videotapes, movies, negatives, slides, undeveloped films, correspondence, diaries, letters relating to juvenile abduction, magazines, books and other publications which tend to demonstrate a particular sex and age preference of juveniles, crime scene measurements and photographs, clothing and objects bearing blood or blood stains, human hair, tissus, secretions, handwriting, fingerprints, documents and effects wich tend to show possession, dominion and control over said premise.
(3) During testimony , Catherine Thiesen of the FBI lab in Washington, said she ruled out other hairs in the SUV and in a vacuum cleaner bag as coming from Danielle Van Dam, however. Two of those hairs were consistent with the DNA profile of a teenager identified as “Danielle L,” the daughter of an acquaintance of Westerfield.
In other words, hairs found in Westerfield’s SUV (Toyota 4Runner) didn’t belong to Danielle Van Dam.