Claim:   A 7-year-old girl named Danielle van Dam is missing from her San Diego area home.

Status:   Not any more.

Example:   [Collected on the Internet, 2002]

Hi Please take a min to read this… you may have seen this little girl somewhere.. this is real.. it was just on cbs this morning… PLEASE FORWARD TO as MAY PEOPLE as you can!!!!

this little girl Danielle is missing. her parents woke up to not find her in her bed over this weekend..apparently the burglar alarm was set off to show that a window and the outside door to the garage was opened. the local law enforcement is now officaly handling this as a abduction!!

Here is the link to the offical site to check out all the details..

all I can say is that this is soo sad !!!

My thoughts and Prayers go out to her family!!!

Origins:   As chronicled on the

Danielle van Dam

web site, 7-year-old Danielle van Dam went missing from her Sabre Springs home in the San Diego area on 2 February 2002. Her father put her to bed at about 10:30 PM on Friday (1 February) and discovered around 9:00 AM the next morning that Danielle was gone and a sliding glass door in the family room was open.

Despite an extensive search of the area by law enforcement agencies, interviews with neighbors, and the posting of flyers with Danielle’s picture throughout the neighborhood, police were frustrated in their efforts to locate the girl. On 22 February 2002, three weeks after Danielle went missing, a neighbor, David Westerfield, was arrested and charged with her kidnapping. Police found spots of blood which they believed to be Danielle’s in Westerfield’s recreational vehicle and on his clothing. On 27 February 2002, volunteers searching a rural area east of San Diego found a partially decomposed child’s body which was confirmed to be the remains of Danielle van Dam. The cause of death has not yet been determined.

On 27 August 2002, David Westerfield was found guilty of the kidnapping and murder of Danielle van Dam, and during the penalty phase of his trial he was sentenced to death. He remains on Death Row at San Quentin State Prison while his case makes its way through the appeals process.

Additional information:

    Missing: Danielle
Missing: Danielle (City of San Diego Police Dept.)

Last updated:   27 March 2005


  Sources Sources:

    Balint, Kathryn.   “Internet Becomes Important Tool to Help Locate Missing Persons.”

    San Diego Union-Tribune.   7 February 2002.

    Fox, Ben.   “Anxiety Mounts in Home of Missing Girl.”

    Los Angeles Times.   7 February 2002.

    Fox, Ben.   “Neighbor of Missing Girl Hires Lawyer After Police Questioning.”

    San Diego Union-Tribune.   7 February 2002.

    Hettena, Seth.   “Body Found Outside San Diego by Volunteers Looking for Missing 7-Year-Old.”

    Associated Press.   27 February 2002.

    Gold, Scott.   “Remains Identified As Missing Girl.”

    Los Angeles Times.   1 March 2002.

    Hazle, Brian.   “Search on for Missing Girl.”

    San Diego Union-Tribune.   3 February 2002.

    Hughes, Joe and Brian E. Clark.   “Police Believe Girl Was Abducted.”

    San Diego Union-Tribune.   5 February 2002.

    Hughes, Joe.   “Neighbor Focus of Missing-Girl Case.”

    San Diego Union-Tribune.   6 February 2002.

    Hughes, Joe.   “Anxiety, Worries Grip Missing Girl’s Parents.”

    San Diego Union-Tribune.   7 February 2002.

    Hughes, Joe and Elizabeth Fitzsimons.   “Imperial County Dunes Scoured for Missing Girl.”

    San Diego Union-Tribune.   8 February 2002.

    Kucher, Karen and Lisa Petrillo.   “No Clues in Disappearance.”

    San Diego Union-Tribune.   4 February 2002.

    Perry, Tony.   “Girl, 7, Missing From Home Is Feared Abducted.”

    Los Angeles Times.   5 February 2002   (p. B8).

    Yang, Eleanor.   “School Tries to Reassure Parents.”

    San Diego Union-Tribune.   5 February 2002.   “Westerfield Guilty of Danielle van Dam’s Murder.”

    27 August 2002.

    Los Angeles Times.   “Police Continue Search for Missing Girl, 7.”

    7 February 2002.

    San Diego Union-Tribune.   “Police Arrest Danielle’s Neighbor.”

    22 February 2002.