When neighbors first heard of this news, they were relieved and happy.
“We’re glad to know that they’ve got him,” Cheri Workman, Day’s neighbor, said.
It was nearly a year ago that Dennis Day went missing.
In July of 2018, investigators were told that 76-year-old Dennis Day was seen walking out of his home in Phoenix, OR to visit friends. They were told he’d be back in a few days but he was never seen again.
Day’s family and neighbors didn’t believe that he would leave his husband for a few days or leave the house on his own.
“We’re devastated right now,” Dennis’s niece, Denise Norris, said in January. “I can’t imagine that he would leave Ernie, they’ve been married a long time, he loves him.”
“He wouldn’t have taken off walking being 76 years old,” Cheri said.
Neighbors tell us Day lived in his home with his partner Ernie. They say the couple allowed others to stay with them often with one of those people being Daniel James Burda.
“We heard arguments between Dan and Dennis,” Cheri said. “Dennis no longer wanted him there and then Dennis disappeared.”
Burda is being charged with manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, abuse of a corpse, criminal mistreatment and identity theft in Day’s death.
“We have known, or felt in our hearts for a long time that he was the man,” Cheri said.
Now, the neighbors are just grateful for the efforts of the Oregon State Police and for the closure they’ve gotten from the arrest.
“[I’m thankful for] Officer Anderson for doing what I asked him to really do is bring justice to Dennis,” Cheri said. “I didn’t think they’d ever get the charges and they did and I’m very grateful.”
Police have not released where the body was discovered inside the home or how it was missed during welfare checks.
While they believe circumstantial evidence indicated the body belonged to Day, OSP says the autopsy was “inconclusive.”
For the full details on Day’s disappearance click here.
Blakely McHugh is a weather forecaster and reporter for NBC5 News. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Blakely is a native of San Diego, CA.
Blakely is excited to be in southern Oregon, a place that gets all the seasons and has similar temperatures to Arizona in the summer! When she’s not at work, you can find her relaxing at home watching TV and cuddling with her cat, Dallas. She also enjoys trying new places to eat and exploring the outdoors.
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