Danny Newville – A few final thoughts

Danny’s Memorial Walk August 4, 2018

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

It’s been a little over a year that I’ve been blogging about Danny Newville’s missing person case here on joy.the.curious. In that time, I’ve interviewed more than 40 people and learned a lot about subjects I previously knew very little about. Things like crime, poverty, drugs, abuse, addiction, jail, prison, probation, and recidivism. I’ve learned how all these things swirl together and feed upon themselves, resulting in an infinite loop that is nearly impossible to escape.

Perhaps most amazing to me, I’ve learned that all these things were going on right here in my own little town of New London… a place where I’ve been living in complete and utter oblivion for over 27 years. On August 1, 2002, I was 35 years old with a husband and two little boys and had no idea an 18 year old named Danny Newville had just gone missing from my own town. In fact, I don’t even remember hearing anything about his disappearance until I started writing about Jacob Wetterling’s case in 2010. I know that sounds amazing and ridiculous, but it’s true. And, I guarantee you, I’m not the only one. I find that profoundly sad, and I struggle to understand how this could be the case.

Throughout this story, I’ve been told that Danny Newville was “a good kid who was hanging out with the wrong crowd.” I didn’t think much about this in the beginning… in fact, I’m sure I repeated it more than once as I told Danny’s story. However, now… I have to say… that phrase really bothers me.

You see, these people – “the wrong crowd” – are the ones who have been the most helpful to me in learning about Danny’s case. They have been open, sincere, and often brave in sharing their stories, and I am forever grateful to them for trusting me with the details. They have opened my eyes to a world I knew nothing about, and in so doing, they also opened my heart to a new sense of compassion and understanding where, in the past, I often passed judgment.

So… here’s what I’ve learned about “the wrong crowd.” They are people… human beings just like the rest of us who live, love, and dream. Many are fierce survivors who have faced a lifetime of circumstances beyond their control. Because of this, they are often preyed upon by criminals who lure them with the very things we ALL want… wealth, recognition, friendship, and respect. But once they find themselves in that dark and infinite loop, they get stuck, unable to find their way out.

Here’s the good news. They can, and they do. I’ve met many of these survivors, and their stories are inspiring. Because of them, I’ve learned not to be afraid of “the wrong crowd.” I’ve learned that every member of the W.C. has their own backstory filled with joy, heartache, hopes and dreams. They’ve learned their life lessons the hard way, and as a result, they are both tough and resilient. To speak with them and to hear how they’ve managed to move ahead outside the loop is really a success story in itself.

I truly believe Danny Newville would have been one of these success stories. With his huge heart and winning personality, I know he would have found his way out of the loop and into a life of passion and purpose. He had a good support system and was surrounded by people who loved and cared about him. In fact, the more I have come to know Danny’s family and friends, the more I realize what a special person he truly was… “the kind of guy who would give you the shirt right off his back.” I have heard this more than once.

As I wrap up Danny’s story, my biggest fear is that his family and friends will think I’m giving up on him. I promise that will never happen. Danny has become a part of my life now, just like Jacob has. I will continue to share, and listen, and pray… just as I have been doing for the past year. I will also continue to talk to anyone who is willing to share information with me. I hope that by now people know they can trust me.

That being said, I won’t call this “the end” or “the final chapter” of Danny’s story. I will continue to help keep the conversation going on the “Find Danny Newville” Facebook page at www.facebook.com/finddannynewville. If you haven’t already, please Like or Follow the page to show your support for Danny’s family, and to receive ongoing updates.

As for what’s next… I plan to share a new story starting on September 1st. It’s something a little lighter… a crazy journey I embarked on last year over Labor Day weekend. I’m calling it “Finding the Ocean” and it tells a tale of where I’ve been over the past two years, as well as a fun new mystery I encountered along the way. Maybe you can help me unravel it.

Again, I thank you for following me on this journey, and for helping me breathe new life into Danny’s case. Keep the tips and prayers coming. And, please, if you have information about Danny’s disappearance or where he can be found, please share it. Send an anonymous letter if necessary, but please don’t let his family suffer any longer. It’s time.

Peace to you, Danny. You will never be forgotten.


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

9 Comments

  1. Thank you, Joy. I look forward to reading about your new mystery!

  2. I like to think your writing about Danny will ultimately lead to resolution for his family! Can’t wait to hear about your next mystery. I really love your writing.

  3. joy.the.curious |

    Thank you Karen and Sue! I appreciate your kind words.

  4. Joy, all of your work and effort on Danny’s case reminds me of tilling up ground that has sat dormant for a long time. I hope all of your efforts will get results and something will grow now that you’ve earned that trust.. which seems to be your strong point. Best of luck on your new project.

  5. Thank you, Joy. You, your research, and your words……are a gift. Thank you for sharing that gift. You have brought life to Danny’s story.

  6. I have been on your “journey” since 1967. Never a dull, moment. You inspire many and continue to amaze a couple of old codgers! xoxo

  7. joy.the.curious |

    Aww, thanks Mom! Funny how, even when you’re 51, kudos from your mom are still the sweetest!

  8. Dr. David E. Rich |

    Joy, you are so good at what you are doing. There should be some fund that people can contribute to in order for you to be compensated for all the work that you do. I am sure it is all coming out of you own pocket to support your passion. Start a fund, and let your followers contribute to you for your work. Also, I would love to see your work on Jacob Wetterling be turned into a book. The world needs to know about the Jacob story and how after so many years, your passionate efforts brought a close to Jacob’s disappearance. I have followed Jacob’s story since day one, as my daughter was and still is best friends with Trevor, Jacob’s brother. I recall in the very beginning the gathering in prayer of over a thousand people at the Junior High in St. Cloud that Jacob was attending. Please tell Jacob’s story to the world in a book. Thank you for all your work for Jacob and Danny.

  9. joy.the.curious |

    Dr. Rich,

    Thank you for your kind words. When I started this blog in 2010, the goal was simply to use it as a tool to keep me writing. However, as you can probably tell, it has turned into something much more over the years. Making the conscious decision to call myself a writer eight years ago was a big switch that I had to make in my brain. And, even now, I still don’t ever introduce myself that way when people ask what I do for a living. (I suppose that’s because I’ve never made a living at it.) However, I do love to write, and someday I hope to make the switch for real. In the mean time, this blog helps me sustain the habit, and I’m so very appreciative of people like you who have followed me on my journey over the years. Thank you!!

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