April 7, 2019– Mary Greeley News – Authorities investigating the disappearance of former Mouseketeer Dennis Day have found a body inside the former child star’s home – eight months after he went missing.
Human remains were discovered at the property on 510 Pine Street in Phoenix, KOBI 5 TV reported.
Police on Thursday asked the coroner to identify the remains. Authorities would not release more information about the circumstances of the discovery.
An Oregon State Police forensics truck was seen outside the home on Friday, according to the Mail Tribune.
In February, Day’s family joined the search for him after learning of his disappearance six months after he went missing.
His husband, Ernest Caswell, first reported him missing in July 2018, but he had forgotten how to contact Day’s family because he is ill with dementia.
Former Mouseketeer Dennis Day, 76 (left), was reported missing in July 2018 by his husband Ernest Caswell (right). Day’s family only discovered he had vanished in January 2019
The body was found at the home on 510 Pine Street in Phoenix, Oregon (above). Police on Thursday asked the coroner to identify the remains. Authorities would not release more information about the circumstances of the discovery
Denise Norris, Day’s niece, posted a message on the ‘Help us find Dennis Day’ Facebook group, which was created to generate public awareness of Day’s disappearance.
‘2 dogs and a drone search for my Uncle Dennis will be starting today at 2pm,’ Norris wrote on Thursday.
We are asking for LOTS of prayers that he will be found. We need this nightmare to end!’
Friends, neighbors and police in Phoenix, Oregon, started looking for the 76-year-old former Mickey Mouse Club cast member since he was reported missing by his husband and partner of 46 years, Caswell, in late July 2018.
But, it wasn’t until one of Day’s relatives, who also lives in Oregon, saw a local news report in early January that the rest of his California-based family was alerted to the fact that Day had vanished.
The relative ‘saw it on the news broadcast and called us immediately,’ Day’s sister, Nelda Adkins, told Dateline in late February.
‘I called Phoenix Police Department the very next day, and we’ve been working on it ever since. The whole family got in on it.’
Adkinds said that police told her that Caswell had reported Day — an actor who got his big break after being cast on the Mickey Mouse Club cast alongside Annette Funicello in 1955 — missing six months prior.
Caswell had been in the hospital at the time, receiving treatment for dementia, when ‘he realized Dennis hadn’t come to visit him in a few weeks’ and asked a hospital staffer to call police, Adkins said.
Day’s California family wasn’t notified at the time because Caswell couldn’t remember their contact information.
Adkins said that although she and her brother were close as children — even auditioning for the Mickey Mouse Club together — they didn’t speak to each other often as adults, so it wasn’t a surprise that she hadn’t heard from him in several months.
Adkins said police told her that a man who was living at Day and Caswell’s home at the time Day went missing had said that on the day he was last seen, Day had left the home on foot, stating he was going to go visit friends.
‘Dennis had a car, but the car was left behind,’ Adkins said. ‘He left his dog and his cat behind, too – he loved them dearly, just like children.’
Police told KOBI 5 that Day’s car was initially missing, but it was soon found on the Oregon coast. Two people were said to have been in the car, although neither Day nor Caswell appeared to be familiar with them.
The driver of the car is said to have told police that Day had given him permission to use the car, a 1996 Ford Escort wagon, according to the Mail Tribune.
‘There was no evidence of a crime there, there was no evidence of a crime in the car,’ Phoenix Police Department Lt. Jeff Price told the news station, noting that it was possible that Day left town voluntarily.
Day’s niece, Denise Norris, told Dateline that Day ‘doesn’t even leave his house to travel anywhere’ and last left Phoenix 12 years ago to attend his mother’s funeral. She said that Day had been constantly at Caswell’s side following Caswell’s colon cancer and dementia diagnosis.
‘He’s not the type of person who would just disappear. Especially with his significant other being in the hospital – he was very dedicated to him,’ Norris said.
Day’s neighbors also doubt that he would have just left town.
‘When I found out his dog had been found roaming the street that was the moment that I said, ‘Oh, no,’ Day and Caswell’s neighbor, Allie Jensen told KOBI 5.
Adkins said that over the six months since Day was reported missing, police have searched his home and a nearby graveyard and creek.
Cadaver dogs were also used at one point, but did not find any signs indicated a crime had occurred.
None of Day’s bank accounts or credit cards appear to have been used since he went missing and police have not been able to track his cell phone because he only had a prepaid phone.
Police said that a letter, supposedly written by Day and found at a neighbor’s home, implied that the man who was living with Day and Caswell at the time had assaulted Day once, but police said there wasn’t any evidence to back up the claim.
Since Day’s disappearance, Caswell has been released from the hospital and is being taken care of at an assisted living facility.
credit: In part with https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6894981/Mystery-missing-Mousketeer-Dennis-Day-76-dead-home-months-vanished.html