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Twins' twisted murder plot; The murder of a pretty mum-of-two remained unsolved until one brother turned on his sibling...

Byline: GAIL SHORTLAND

Twins Daniel and David DeWild did everything together. They both worked as mechanics and finished each other's sentences. No one could have imagined they would also enter a murder plot together.

It took eight years to nail them, but the sick pair were finally brought to justice for the killing of Daniel's estranged wife Heather.

Police were unable to unlock the case until one brother finally turned on his sibling.

Mum-of-two Heather DeWild disappeared just days before she would have received the divorce she desperately craved in 2003.

Petite Heather, the daughter of a police officer, had been married to husband Daniel for six years and they had two children, Jacob, five, and Hannah, three.

Their relationship turned sour and before her death Heather, 30, had knocked back Daniel's attempt to win her over with flowers.

He was then heard saying that Heather was 'ruining his life'.

Daniel grew increasingly annoyed that Heather had temporary custody of the kids and he had been ordered to pay child support. He also faced losing his home.

David and his girlfriend, Roseanne, had moved in with him to help pay the bills. But Daniel hated not being in control.

On July 24, 2003, Heather took her two children to Daniel's house in Edgewater, Colorado, to pick up some paperwork and to sign a cheque.

When she didn't return to her parent's home, her mum Carol called Daniel to find out where she was.

'She's gone shopping,' he claimed, and said the children were with him.

Straight away, alarm bells rang. It was completely out of character - especially leaving the children.

She hadn't taken money or credit cards with her either.

Heather's mum went to Dan's and picked up the children and found Heather's car had gone. She reported her daughter as a missing person and police began to search for her.

After six days, police got a warrant to search the DeWild house.

Sniffer dogs found a 'decomposing human scent' in David's car but there was no other evidence. It was clear to police a body had been there but the car was impeccably clean and there was no evidence. They were sure that the two brothers had murdered Heather but they could not prove it.

A day later, David suddenly married his girlfriend Roseanne. It was an odd move when his sister-in-law was still missing.

Two weeks after Heather disappeared, her white Nissan car was found five miles away.

A month later, a workman unearthed Heather's tied up body in a shallow grave.

It was so decomposed the forensic team couldn't determine the cause of her death but they were pretty sure it was murder.

The problem for the police was the lack of any evidence to connect the DeWild brothers to her death.

Forensic evidence was re-examined over the next few years but as the suspects were twins, DNA samples weren't any help.

But in 2009 a new team were assigned to her case and they unearthed more clues.

The police found a sex tape that Daniel and Heather had made during their marriage.

It showed Daniel tying up Heather in a similar way to how her body was found.

They also realised that Daniel had set up a dating profile on an online dating service while Heather was still missing. On it, he described himself as a widower.

With just circumstantial evidence, Daniel and David DeWild were arrested on December 14, 2011 for the murder of Heather.

But it was a weak case.

No one knew where Heather had been killed or how she had died but then investigators were handed a gift. David DeWild turned on his brother.

He admitted that Daniel had killed her and had hidden her body.

The 41-year-old claimed Daniel wanted to kill her after he was ordered to pay child support. He said he begged his brother not to do it.

But while the kids were playing in the house, Daniel lured Heather into the garage - possibly on the pretence of returning the sex tape they'd made.

David watched while Daniel threw her on the ground then hit her with a mallet. He put a noose around her neck and strung her up from a beam. Then he put her body in bin bags.

David got rid of Heather's car and used his car to dump her body.

His evidence was damning but after having lied for so long, police gave him a lie detector test - which showed he was now telling the truth.

David was given a deal and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit second-degree murder.

In November 2012, Daniel went on trial at Jefferson County courthouse.

David testified against his brother and when he was asked who killed Heather, he pointed to Daniel.

Daniel pleaded not guilty and claimed he didn't know where Heather had gone after she had supposedly left the house.

His defence also suggested that it was David who had killed Heather.

But David lacked any motive. It was Daniel who faced losing his home and had lost control. He had the motive and the prosecution called him a 'cool, calculated killer'. A jury found him guilty of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder - but couldn't decide if he had actually committed murder.

It was declared a mistrial. But in February 2013, instead of a second trial and the risk of life in prison without parole, Daniel, 39, took a deal and pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. He told the court, 'I pleaded guilty to knowingly causing the death of another person. He was given 74 years in prison.

David's deal meant that he was sentenced to 12 years instead of life. He apologised for 'all the pain I've caused'.

Finally Heather's fate had been revealed. Without David's confession, his brother could have got away with murder. Now the twins are both behind bars.

House where Heather met her death

Left, a police forensic team at Daniel's home in Edgewater, Colorado. Below, doting mum Heather with Hannah, who was three when her mum was killed. And right, Roseanne DeWild married David days after Heather went missing.

There was no real evidence and, as the suspects were twins, DNA was useless

CAPTION(S):

Daniel and Heather's wedding day

Daniel and David DeWild

Brothers in harm... Daniel and David DeWild were both involved in the tragic murder of Daniel's wife Heather. The mother-of-two was killed just days before she was granted a divorce.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Jan 12, 2014
Words:1075
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