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Dennis Day: Mousketeer’s death leads police to arrest handyman on suspicion of manslaughter

Dennis Day: Mousketeer's death leads police to arrest handyman on suspicion of manslaughter
Dennis Day was found dead in his home earlier this year. Pic credit: Disney

Dennis Day, one of the original Mousketeers from The Mickey Mouse Club, was found dead in his home in Phoenix, Oregon, on April 5.

Three months later, The Oregonian reported that police arrested a former handyman for Day in connection with the death.

Day was reported missing nine months before police found his badly decomposed body in his home. According to reports, the house was “rundown” and police could have overlooked the body in previous searches.

Police arrested Daniel James Burda, 36, in conjunction with the Dennis Day death. Oregon State Police say Burda faces charges of manslaughter, abuse of a corpse and identity theft, among other felony crimes.

The Mail Tribune reported in June that police arrested two women who faced felony charges for the theft of a car as well as a piece of jewelry belonging to Day.

Wanda Garcia and Lori Declusin were charged with stealing a 90s model Ford Escort that belonged to Day. Garcia was also accused of selling a brooch in July 2018, less than a week after Day was last seen alive.

As for Burda, he worked as a handyman for Dennis Day and his husband Henry “Ernie” Caswell. Day was 76 and Caswell was 88, and the two elderly men reportedly hired Burda to help out with yard work and chores.

Dennis Day achieved fame on the early days of the Mickey Mouse Club, where he tap-danced and played banjo on the show. Day met his husband two decades later and they relocated to Phoenix in the 80s.

Dennis Day disappeared two weeks after his husband was hospitalized following a series of falls. Caswell now lives in an assisted living center and suffers from short-term memory loss and other health issues.

Oregon State Police say the Dennis Day death investigation is ongoing.

Shawn S. Lealos has been a freelance writer for 25 years, starting with magazines and newspapers before moving to the internet. He has been published... read more
Shawn S. Lealos

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