10 Years Later: Mother of Danielle Van Dam Says Amber Alert Works Better Now, Saves Lives

Mother of slain 7-year-old says Westerfield's appeal brings her more pain and anger

View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Getty Images
    A man and children walk past a poster for missing seven-year-old Danielle van Dam at a park on the van Dams suburban street, February 13, 2002.

    It was a case that shocked the entire community and nation.

    Seven-year-old Danielle Van Dam was first reported missing 10 years ago Thursday and the case is still in the courts as her convicted killer, David Westerfield, files an appeal.

    The Sabre Springs girl would've graduated from high school this year.

    10 Years Later: Danielle Van Dam Saves Lives

    [DGO] 10 Years Later: Danielle Van Dam Saves Lives
    Seven year old Danielle Van Dam was first reported missing 10 years ago Thursday and the case is still in the courts as her convicted killer, David Westerfield, files an appeal.

    Ten years after her kidnapping and murder, her family -- mom, dad and two brothers -- try not to focus in on February 2, but instead celebrate Danielle's birthday every year in September.

    Brenda Van Dam spoke to NBC San Diego over the phone from the law office where she works.

    Reasons for Westerfield Appeal: Attorneys

    [DGO] Nearly 30 Reasons for Westerfield Appeal: Attorneys
    Tony Shin spoke exclusively with Danielle Van Dam's mother.

    She's trying to keep her mind busy on a day that is extremely sad for her and her family.

    It brings back memories of that day in 2002 when they realized Danielle was missing, the search for her, and David Westerfield's two month trial that exposed her own family's personal life.

    Though she still struggles with this tragedy, she says one positive has come from her daughter's murder.

    "In my heart I do believe that things happen for a reason and I feel that Danielle has saved lives," Brenda said. "Because at the time Gov. Gray Davis had the Amber Alert in place and he wasn't using it. Then after Danielle was taken, he started using it."

    Westerfield was convicted of kidnapping and murdering Danielle. He now sits on death row in San Quentin.

    He has filed an appeal, which Brenda says only brings her more pain and anger.