Edit ModuleShow Tags

Anatomy of a Murder


Published:

(page 1 of 5)

Amid the superstores and strip malls that pass for community in the suburbs of San Diego, some small-town traditions remain. Parents still come out to watch their kids play Little League baseball, just like their parents did.

There’s sunshine and sunflower seeds. Dirt and grass.

But in the Carmel Mountain Ranch Little League, grass is a touchy subject this season. Parents have admitted smoking it, and one of them says a coach supplied it.

Grass. Marijuana, that is.

The coach is Rich Brady (not the well-known San Diego clothier with the same name). Some wanted Brady to resign, but others involved with his team threatened to pull their children out of the league if he left, according to a league official. Brady declined comment on the subject. The dispute went all the way to Little League headquarters in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

The Carmel Mountain Ranch league was covering its bases, according to the league official. “The general consensus from everyone involved is unless the man is charged with something, and his performance on the field is affected by choices in his personal life, at this point there are no grounds to remove him,” the official says.

Rich Brady is still coaching, but “It’s one of those situations where we wish he would go away quietly,” says another coach.

And who is the parent who says Brady supplied marijuana?

Brenda van Dam.

The disappearance of her 7-year-old daughter, Danielle, set off a San Onofre–size chain reaction in San Diego on February 2. Three days later, Brenda and her husband, Damon, were on national television, pleading for Danielle’s return. They kept making pleas in daily news conferences before dozens of reporters and photographers outside their Sabre Springs home—with the man suspected of abducting their daughter just two doors away.

Police quickly focused on the neighbor, David Westerfield, as thousands of volunteers kept searching for Danielle. Twenty days after she disappeared, the cops arrested Westerfield, who pleaded not guilty to murdering her. It took five more days for searchers to find Danielle’s body, under a tree by a road in East County.

Westerfield’s murder trial—he faces the death penalty—was scheduled to start May 17. A judge imposed a gag order on most of the trial participants—including the van Dams, the police and the district attorney. San Diego Magazine offered each a chance to comment for this story. They either declined, citing the gag order, or did not respond.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Related Stories

Fall Fashion 2016: Into the Wild

Fall in love with the season's Victorian details, dark florals, deep reds, fur, and more

27 Secret San Diego Spots

From hidden caves to dead bodies beneath a public park, here's our third annual guide to all things hidden and hush-hush

Arts Preview 2016-2017

The city's best performances, shows, exhibits, and more. Let the fat lady sing!
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. 27 Secret San Diego Spots
    From hidden caves to dead bodies beneath a public park, here's our third annual guide to all things hidden and hush-hush
  2. What's It Like to Be the CEO of the Smartest Company in the World?
    We went to Illumina’s headquarters to find out
  3. The 12 Most Important People in Design Right Now
    See what they’re up to and working on in San Diego
  4. Best of San Diego 2016
    Our annual and completely subjective guide to SD’s best
  5. The Chilling Facts About Craft Beer
    Why colder is not always better
  6. The Caesar Salad Turns 92
    Mexico’s world-famous salad celebrates 92 years of anchovy-garlicky goodness
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions

Go Ahead... Ask McMillin!

At McMillin Realty, we are encouraging you to bring us your real estate questions. We will answer these questions….. for free.

Not Your Grandma's Orthotics

New year, new – shoe? Staying on your feet for long hours at a time just got a whole lot more comfortable with Wiivv’s BASE custom insoles
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module

Connect With Us:

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Sponsored

Go Ahead... Ask McMillin!

At McMillin Realty, we are encouraging you to bring us your real estate questions. We will answer these questions….. for free.

“Will You Marry Me”?

Sharon Jenks, CEO of 6 Degrees, on building business relationships
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags