Danny Newville – A few theories

Danny Newville has been missing from New London, Minnesota since August 1, 2002

New to this story? Start from the beginning:
Danny Newville – Missing since 2002

It’s been almost nine months since I first started blogging about Danny Newville here on joythecurious.com. Danny was 18 years old when he disappeared from my own small town of New London, Minnesota, on August 1, 2002. Last year marked the 15 year anniversary of Danny’s disappearance, so that prompted me to share his story, in hopes of rejuvenating the investigation and encouraging people to come forward with any information they may have that might help solve the case.

Since then, I’ve talked to a lot of people about Danny… friends, relatives, schoolmates, teachers, investigators, inmates… you name it. You would think most people wouldn’t care about a missing 18 year old — a legal adult — who was getting in trouble, hanging out with the wrong crowd and, according to locals, probably killed over a drug debt. But, that simply isn’t the case. Everyone I’ve talked to… and I mean everyone… really liked Danny. He was an easy person to like, and they’ve all told me the same thing over and over… he didn’t deserve whatever happened to him, and they’ll do whatever they can to help.

Unfortunately, that isn’t as easy as it sounds.

As you can imagine, some of this gets a little dicey. While people say they want to help, they are also wary… and for good reason. Clearly, the people involved in Danny’s disappearance (and presumed death) are dangerous. We know there were drugs involved, and as it stands, the person or persons who know what happened to Danny are likely still out there. More accurately, they are likely still out HERE… right here, where we all live.

With that in mind, I will speak in generalities. While everyone says they want to help find Danny, I am mindful of the fact that most of these “kids” are now parents themselves. I would never share anything that might endanger someone or their family, regardless of whether I have been given permission to do so or not. For that reason, I will withhold the names of any people I have spoken to, as well as the names of any suspects I have learned about along the way.

Another thing I will do is assume that everyone is telling me the truth. I have no reason to believe anyone I’ve spoken to is lying, or that they’re trying to mislead me with wrong information. So, that’s how I intend to proceed with this post. I am extremely grateful to everyone who has shared their stories with me, and I know for certain it has helped breathe new life into Danny’s case.

So, with all that being said, let’s begin.

Theory #1 — Danny was killed at a house party

Before I even started blogging about Danny’s disappearance, the general buzz around town was that Danny had been beaten to death in the basement of the “party house.” Rumor is, those who were there covered up the crime and disposed of his body.

The “party house,” as it appeared in a 2017 news story about Danny Newville on KSTP. The house has been under new ownership since 2006.

Theory #2 — Danny OD’d at the house party.

Some believe that Danny either accidentally OD’d while he was at the party house that night, or that he intentionally was given bad drugs which led to his death. His body was disposed of so those who were with him wouldn’t get caught.

Theory #3 — Danny walked away and disappeared on his own

Danny had just gotten out of jail the day before he disappeared. He was 60 days clean, so maybe he decided to just ignore his drug debts, get the heck out of Dodge, and start over somewhere new. However, even if Danny had wanted to walk away and start fresh, would he really let his friends and family suffer like this for all these years? Those who know him best tell me absolutely not. No way.

Theory #4 — Something happened to Danny while he was walking to his friend’s house around sunrise on Thursday, August 1st.

I’ve talked to two people who say Danny was still alive at 5:30 AM on the morning of Thursday, August 1st. One person says he spoke to Danny on the phone around 5:30 AM because Danny called for a ride. Another person says he actually saw and spoke to Danny at the party house around this same time.

So, if Danny left the party house around 5:30 AM on Thursday, August 1st to walk to his friend’s house in Peaceful Hills, maybe someone “got him” somewhere along the way. But, who? And why?

Danny’s general path if he would have taken the “snake trail” instead of the road.

I don’t want to speculate on any of these theories, because I simply don’t know enough to have an educated opinion. Was Danny really killed over a drug debt? Were people so “methed-up” that they accidentally killed Danny? Did Danny die of a drug overdose? I have no idea.

Here’s something I do know. There was one man who scared the bejeezus out of all these kids. They say he was evil, ruthless… not right in the head. He was a big dealer, “the one with all the shit.” They also tell me he disappeared around the same time Danny did.

I’ve talked to several people about this guy. Besides being a drug dealer, I’ve heard he was also a drug runner, arsonist, sexual predator, and human trafficker. He frequently made terroristic threats, and if anyone owed him money, he always found a way to get it back. For as tough as these kids were, and for as much as they had been through in their young lives, they were all deathly afraid of this guy.

Did Danny owe this guy money? Was he at the party house on the night Danny disappeared? Did he have anything to do with Danny’s disappearance?

Again, I have no idea. But, here’s one more thing I definitely know.

Danny’s dad, Russ, and his stepmom, Lidia, so very desperately want to know what happened to their son. They want to know where he is so they can visit him, grieve for him, and begin to heal. It’s the waiting and wondering that’s impossible to bear.

Read next… Danny Newville Memorial Walk – Save the date!

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

Detective Kent Bauman
Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Office
Phone: 320-214-6700, x3315
Email: 3315@co.kandiyohi.mn.us
Facebook Messenger:

If you’d prefer, you may also contact me using the Contact form on this site.

You may also mail anonymous tips to:

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


  1. Thanks Joy for all you are doing. Danny, his family and many friends deserve to know the truth. Everyone’s efforts mean something. Thanks Holly

  2. Joy, if two people spoke with Danny around 5:30 a.m., and his ride never showed, I’m guessing he took off walking and was picked up by the scary dude, possibly at gun point. However, that’s nothing but a guess, based on what you shared.

    Has Danny’s family entered him into NAMUS? If the scary dude left town about the time Danny went missing, it’s possible that he killed Danny and dumped him in another state. If so, NAMUS could possibly help.

    I feel you were instrumental in solving Jacob Wetterling’s case, and if anyone could help solve the mystery of what happened to Danny, it would be you.

    Thanks for all you do.

  3. Patrick Kerrigan |

    How about the name of the bad guy. I could drop it off with my sources. We could arrange for him to meet some bad people in the federal government. We can start with the IRS. We can claim he was part of the Tea Party. They would go over his tax records with a fine tooth comb. Then we could claim, he supported ISIS, and send to Gitmo, for some harsh interrogation. Then he would have time to clean the floors with a greeny pad and a coffee can of water

    Then he would be required to chip and paint a few U.S. Navy ships. That would keep him busy for a few years.

  4. Good luck with this. It will come….

  5. Joy, for what it’s worth, I think S.K.W. brought up some very good points involving the scary dude and also NAMUS. As dangerous as this guy apparently is the theory sounds plausible.

    I also wholeheartedly agree that you were key in solving Jacob Wetterling’s disappearance, and it’s you who can help find Danny. You just connect with people.

  6. Good work as usual Joy.. It’s sad seeing you guys struggling with this.

    I suggest keep going.. your writing and your method of teasing a story out of tea leaves is sure and steady. And as we saw with Jacob’s story.. invaluable.

  7. I always look forward to your blog posts. Keep up the good work. I pray Danny is found. This “bad guy” — was he never seen again? If so, that is very strange and hardly seems like a coincidence.

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