Daniel DeWild pleaded guilty in Jefferson County Court Thursday to murdering his estranged wife nine years ago.
In November, a jury convicted him of conspiracy to commit murder, but failed to reach a verdict on one count of First Degree Murder he faced. A mistrial was declared on that count. Negotiations resulted in DeWild pleading guilty to Second Degree Murder.
Heather DeWild was killed on July 24, 2003. She was 30 years old.
Investigators say Daniel DeWild lured her to the house they lived in together. It was the last time she was seen alive.
A Colorado Department of Transportation worker found her badly decomposed body in a shallow grave just off of U.S. 6 in Golden about six weeks later.
She was wearing the same clothing that she wore on the day she disappeared. Heather’s neck and wrist were loosely bound with rope. Her body was wrapped in trash bags and secured by duct tape.
The investigation into her murder stalled.
In 2005, Jefferson County District Attorney Scott Storey assigned full time investigators to the case.
Daniel DeWild, his brother David DeWild and Mary DeWild were indicted in December 2011 for Heather’s death.
“Solving this homicide has been a priority for me since I took office in 2005,” Storey says.
“It’s been a long time coming, but investigators in my office, the Jefferson Sheriff’s County Office, the Arvada Police Department, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and the Edgewater Police Department have never forgotten Heather DeWild. Our decision to let Daniel DeWild plead guilty was discussed at length with Heather’s family. They have amazing courage and patience. They have come for every hearing. I am so glad to finally bring them some justice for Heather.”
Daniel DeWild faces 72-75 years in prison when he is sentenced on February 28, 2013.
His brother, David DeWild will be sentenced on January 24 after he pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Commit 2nd Degree Murder.
Accessory charges against David’s wife, Mary DeWild, were dismissed in October.