Danny Newville – “Somebody’s boy”

Last week, I received a Facebook message from someone who wanted to talk to me about Danny Newville. About a month ago, she had seen a flyer about Danny’s Memorial Walk pinned to the bulletin board of a local bar/restaurant, and as she stared at it, she wondered who this young man was. She’d never heard of Danny Newville before.

She started asking questions, wondering what in the world had happened to this young man who had disappeared from her own town… and more importantly, why she’d never heard about it. That bothered her… so much in fact, that she went out of her way to learn more about Danny and his case. And that’s what led her to me.

We met for coffee, and I shared what I’d learned so far. Then, she took it upon herself to talk to some of Danny’s friends and family members to learn more about him as a person. Who WAS this 18 year old boy who disappeared from her hometown 15 years ago?

She wrote the following article, and I was so moved by it, I asked if I could share it on my blog. She said sure.

I am so thankful for her passion and her heart.

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Somebody’s boy

I grew up in New London-Spicer, but I was living elsewhere when Danny Newville went missing. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago when I saw a flyer in O’Neils in Spicer that I knew anything about Danny’s disappearance at all. This confused me. How did I not hear about Danny at the time that he vanished? How have I not heard about him over the years? How did I not hear anything about him after moving back to New London years ago?

When asking around, I got similar answers:

It never did turn into any big deal, I don’t remember hearing much about it.

Yeah… I think it didn’t get much publicity because he was into drugs and people like that go missing all the time.

It seemed like it wasn’t that serious… like maybe he left on his own.

This broke my heart. I didn’t hear anything about who Danny was as a person, other than an addict. I didn’t hear any theories about his vanishing until I started asking for more. I would get similar very vague answers, until I asked more questions:

But what exactly did you hear about it?

Were there any theories about what actually happened?

I began to hear a story with common threads. There’s more on that to come, in future posts written by Joy, and maybe me, I don’t know. For now, what I want to start with is Danny’s life, who he was as a person and what memories his family and friends share. When a person goes missing, the public needs to hear more than the fact that they had a criminal lifestyle. While this matters for the sake of the missing person case, addiction isn’t Danny’s whole story.

He was not “just a druggie.” He was somebody’s boy.

Danny was a friend. He was a nephew. He was a grandson. He was a son. He was a part of this community. At just 18 years old, he may not have been doing a fine stand up job of contributing positively to the world around him, but this steals nothing from his value as a human. No one can account for the many ways that people who struggle with addiction still share encouragement and help to others. There is always hope. For every person. Every addict. He was young and had positive influences in his life and potential to change and to grow the good qualities that were always there in him.

Danny was somebody’s boy.

He loved to fish. He always had a lot friends. He was gentle and caring. Despite his tendency to skip school, he got good grades because he was bright. Danny had the capacity to continue to change for the better, if given half a chance. Danny did not receive that chance. It was taken from him, as he was stolen from his family. His life, his story and his disappearance deserve the attention of any other criminal case, publicly, until all the pieces are put together for the sake of his family’s closure and to honor a fellow human being, a person, somebody’s boy.

Read next… Danny Newville – From a friend

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If you have additional tidbits or memories to share about Danny, please include a comment below. I know his family would love to see them.

If you have information about Danny Newville’s disappearance, please contact Detective Kent Bauman at the Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Office at 320-214-6700.

You may also mail anonymous tips to:

Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Office
2201 NE 23rd St, Suite 101
Willmar, MN 56201

7 Comments

  1. Joy, thank you for sharing this, and kudos to the author for caring enough to do some research, and then taking a stand and writing this piece. All too often people are dehumanized if they weren’t perceived as being upstanding citizens. Had Danny been an 18 year old female, or the H.S. star quarterback, the author would have heard about this case. Perhaps all of us would have. But since he wasn’t, it sounds as if people shrugged, then forgot about him. How wonderful that the author chose to see him as a human being, one with the potential of turning his life around, had he not been taken from among us. I hope she will submit this to a newspaper in her area, along with contact information, perhaps for you, where people can give anonymous tips (I suspect few would want to contact the police if they know something).

    I have a saying for all of the “Dannys” of the world: every saint has a past, every sinner has a future.

    I read before that Danny’s family thinks he is deceased: they just want him found. Have they submitted DNA, and are Danny’s fingerprints and dental records on file somewhere? Todd Matthews, from NamUs, could help his family, and I hope Danny’s entered in the NamUs files. Then, if an unidentified person shows up somewhere, their record could possibly be matched to his.

  2. To quote Steven Tyler from Aerosmith, “We’re all Somebody from Somewhere.”

    Danny Newville is somebody’s boy and he shouldn’t be dismissed because people assume his disappearance may be drug or crime related. Making assumptions like that and not caring are as bad as the people responsible for his being missing.

    There are so many unidentified people who have been crime victims and the police can’t put a name to them because of their past and no one can be found that cares. That’s incredibly sad. They were somebody’s daughter or somebody’s son and they shouldnt have ended up the way they did. Danny Newville and his family deserve for people to care enough not to make assumptions and realize he’s somebody and he mattered. I hope people who have information about this will come forward soon.

  3. Gail Newville |

    I am saddened by the fact that people feel a need to label others. No one is either all good or all bad. Dan was at an age that you feel invincible and was with a group in society that is accepting of others. He is very loved and missed

  4. writingthreads |

    Thank you, Gail. “No one is either all good or all bad.” Someone told me the other day that they went to elementary school and part of high school with Danny. I said, “What was he like?” Her face lit up and she said, “He was so sweet!” She talked about his fun sense of humor and his kindness.

    I’m so very sorry for all that all of you have gone through.

  5. Good read. Would love to see this solved.Informed people may help. Good job girls.

  6. Julie Vlaminck |

    Don’t recall hearing anything. As has been said, a quarterback probably would have drawn more attention than a troubled boy. Great job of writing! I look forward to reading any news that develops. I am praying.

  7. Wonderfully said. I hope he is finally found and his family can find a little bit of peace after all these years.

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