Danny Newville – A talk with the lead investigator

As I begin to wrap up my year-long blog story about the Danny Newville missing person case, I’ve been taking some time to connect with Danny’s best friends and family members to learn a bit more about him, and to gather quotes and memories from the people who knew him best. Over the next few weeks, I plan to share some of those stories as the 16 year anniversary of Danny’s disappearance approaches on August 1, 2018.

SAVE THE DATE: 5th Annual Danny Newville Memorial Walk on Saturday, August 4, 2018

Along with friends and family, another person I wanted to interview was Detective Sergeant Kent Bauman with the Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Office. He has been the lead investigator on Danny’s case since the very beginning, so I wanted to get his perspective on how he thinks the investigation is going, and whether any of this new attention has made a difference in the past year.

I was able to catch up with Detective Bauman last week and he agreed to speak to me.

I first met with Detective Bauman and Sheriff Dan Hartog last year on August 8, 2017. It had been one week since I’d published my first blog post about Danny’s disappearance, and I was anxious to meet both of them and find out more information about his case.

I found Detective Bauman and Sheriff Hartog to both be polite and respectful. While they were happy to provide general background information on the case, they made it clear they weren’t able to share any confidential details with me since Danny’s case was still an active investigation. However, they were also quick to add that they welcomed my input and encouraged me to speak to anyone who was willing to talk to me.

Throughout the year, I passed along whatever information I could on Danny’s case, often leaving out names or other identifying information whenever someone asked to remain anonymous. While I’m sure this was frustrating, I always found Detective Bauman to be open and accommodating, never pressing for information, but also encouraging me to let people know they could put measures in place to maintain a person’s privacy.

When I sat down to interview Detective Bauman last week, the first thing I asked him was whether this uptick in activity over the past year had been helpful to Danny’s case.

“100% yes,” he said.

Detective Bauman went on to tell me that the new attention to Danny’s case generated a lot of discussion and a lot of new interest in the case. Not only was he receiving information through me and my blog, but also from other people who were contacting him directly.

“Danny’s name and story began to enter people’s conversations again,” he said. “And that’s exactly what we wanted.”

Next, I asked Detective Bauman how many new leads had been generated in the past year.

He had done his homework prior to our interview, and reported that he had received 20 new leads in Danny’s case since I started blogging about it. Specifically, that means he logged 20 new items into the case file… whether those be conversations with people he’d never spoken to before, or pieces of new information that hadn’t previously been investigated or discussed.

“It stirred up a lot of stuff I’ve never covered,” he told me. “When we went back and reviewed the timeline, we also looked at other events that were happening around the same time Danny disappeared. Some were of new interest… things we hadn’t heard before.”

Going forward, I was particularly interested to know what might be helpful to the investigation.

“Continue to talk about it,” Detective Bauman told me. “Someone knows something, and as people continue to grow out of old habits and vices, maybe they have something they want to get off their chests. Maybe it’s a secret that needs to be told.”

I mentioned to Detective Bauman that most people seem to believe Danny was killed over a drug debt. In my conversations with various individuals over the past year, I learned there were a lot of local drug dealers in our small town of New London. When Danny disappeared, it seems they all started pointing their fingers at one other, and this led to a culture of fear among that generation of kids. “Keep your mouth shut or you’ll end up like Danny Newville,” became a running threat.

Detective Bauman agreed with this assessment. He added that, generationally, many of these “party kids” from the early 2000s are now adults with children of their own. He hopes that if someone does have something to share, this discussion might trigger a sense of parental instinct for them… something most of them didn’t have 16 years ago.

I wondered about this. Knowing that Detective Bauman was a parent himself, I asked him what it’s been like to work on a long term missing person’s case like this.

“It’s hard to be so attached to a case,” he replied. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve woken up in the middle of the night and thought to myself… what about this, or why can’t I figure this out, or what am I missing? This one definitely tops the charts in that respect.”

However, Detective Bauman is quick to add that no matter what his level of frustration, he knows it’s at least tenfold for the family. More than anything, he wants to find answers for them.

“I’ve grown a lot in my job, and I’ve learned a lot with this case. It has been an unbelievably difficult case with lots of ups and downs. A lot of information has come to us over the years, and it’s my job to try and sift through what’s credible and what’s not. I’m constantly asking myself how we can verify things, because that adds strength to anything.”

As I neared the end of my list of questions, I asked Detective Bauman if there was anything else he wanted to add.

“You hear about cold cases getting solved all over the world,” he said. “I hope this is one of them. I’m still hopeful we’ll find that missing piece to the puzzle. After so many years, we all want to close this thing and provide answers for Danny’s family and friends. That’s what’s most important.”

Read next… Danny Newville – His friend Morgan

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:
https://www.facebook.com/Kandiyohi-County-Sheriffs-Office-471311649587923

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

5 Comments

  1. Terra Lexow |

    Danny was a head start student of mine. He grew up with my daughters and went to several Christmas’ with my family and to our family cabin in northern MN several times. I have pictures and memories of those years. Who would believe that I would meet and love his Grandpa 5 or 6 years later. We have been together for over 20 years now and I had several more Christmas’ and cabin trips with Danny.

  2. Thank you, Joy! This is SO encouraging to hear. I continue to pray that Danny would be found. God bless you for all you’ve done to bring attention to this case. And to anyone who might have any information, please, please come forward.

  3. Stephanie Kent Wargin |

    Joy, please update us in the future, should an arrest/s be made. Thannk you.

  4. joy.the.curious |

    Stephane, no worries. I will definitely continue to follow Danny’s case and will pass information along as it comes to me.

  5. These investigators sensed what we already know Miss Joy..
    You’re the real steel and getting all the right attention on these cases!
    We know it’s tough.. please keep going!

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