3 – the 911 call

Transcript of Brenda van Dam’s 911 call – Feb. 2, 2002, 09:39 hours

Dispatcher: …Emergency, Diane. San Diego Emergency, Diane.
Brenda: Yes, ma’am, I have an emergency.
Dispatcher: What’s your emergency?
Brenda: My daughter’s not in her bed this morning. She’s only seven.
Dispatcher: OK.
Brenda: Um.
Dispatcher: How, when did you find her? Just now?
Brenda: Just now. I thought she was in there sleeping and I went in there because someone came over I was babysitting and she’s not there.
Dispatcher: What’s your name, ma’am?
Brenda: Brenda van Dam.
Dispatcher: She doesn’t have any history of running away or anything, right?
Brenda: No, no, not at all and, and… Oh my gosh.
Dispatcher: All right, take a deep breath, OK?
Brenda (talking away from phone): Did you find her? Is she anywhere?
Dispatcher: What’s your daughter’s name?
Brenda: Danielle.
Dispatcher: And her last name is the same?
Brenda: Van Dam.
Dispatcher: That’s V-A-N-D-A-M, right?
Brenda: Yes.
Dispatcher: OK. And how old — you said she’s seven. What’s her date of birth?
Brenda: 9/22/94.
Dispatcher: How tall is she?
Brenda: Um, I don’t really know… She has brown short hair, we just had it cut, it’s right to her shoulders…Um, she’s probably about 60 pounds. And um, um, I don’t know how tall. I don’t, I just can’t….
Dispatcher: How tall are you?
Brenda: (talking away from phone) How tall is she? How tall is she, Damon? I don’t know where she could be. (childrens’ voices in background)
Dispatcher: OK, how tall are you, ma’am?
Brenda: I’m five four.
Dispatcher: OK, and, and, and is she how much shorter than you, do you think?
Brenda: Oh, about…
Dispatcher: Picture a ruler in your mind.
Brenda: She comes up to my chest.
Dispatcher: She comes up to your chest?
Brenda: Yes.
Dispatcher: So she’s probably about four…four foot, probably about, what, eight?
Brenda: Yeah.
Dispatcher: OK.
Brenda: Yeah. Yeah. Maybe a little shorter.
Dispatcher: Probably about 60 pounds, right?
Brenda: Yeah.
Dispatcher: And she’s got brown short hair to the shoulder? And then what color eyes?
Brenda: Um, they’re green. (Childrens’ voices in background). Oh my gosh.
Dispatcher: It doesn’t look like anybody broke through the house or anything?
Brenda: Well, last night when I came home, cause I went out with my friends…
Dispatcher: Uh huh.
Brenda:…There was a door open on the house and I couldn’t figure out which one it was and it was our side garage door. But, but, um, I didn’t check the bed and um, I came up…
Dispatcher: (interrupting) About what time did you come home?
Brenda: I came home about 2. And my husband was home with them. He was home. And he said goodnight to them and I guess he went to sleep. The back door was cracked, he said. The back door and the side garage door, he found the back door cracked. (long silence during which you can hear the dispatcher typing). Oh my gosh.
Dispatcher: And have you checked with any of her friends to see if she’s possibly with them?
Brenda: (speaking over the dispatcher) Not yet. Not yet. I haven’t.
Dispatcher: OK.
Brenda: (talking away from phone) Damon?
Dispatcher: OK, ma’am, we have an officer coming there.
Brenda: OK.
Dispatcher: If you think of anything else or if you call her friends and find out anything, give us a call right back, OK?
Brenda: OK.
Dispatcher: OK.
Brenda: Thank you.
Dispatcher: Take a deep breath and calm down. It sounds like you have other kids there.
Brenda: I have my husband and two other children and, and my neighbor just brought her kids over. I need to call her so she can come back and get them.
Dispatcher: OK. Think, think positive thoughts and everything will be OK, OK?
Brenda: Thank you. Thank you. Bye.

The babysitter that nobody saw was... a boy
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