Did twins Daniel and David really do everything together?
Identical twins Daniel and David DeWild were never apart. They shared a bond that nothing and no-one could break.
And, in the summer of 2003, Daniel, then 30, needed his brother even more than ever. His marriage to Heather, 30, had fallen apart. The couple were locked in a bitter divorce. Child support payments for their two children were placing a strain on his finances and he feared he’d lose his home.
By July, Daniel’s divorce was just a week away, and Heather was due to begin a new job as a ticket agent with an airline. But, days later, Heather vanished.
She’d last been seen picking up some documents from Daniel. She took their children along as she didn’t like to be alone with him.
Daniel told police she’d left the kids with him, gone to run some errands. And never came back.
Heather loved her children. There was no way she’d abandon them.
Her son told investigators his parents were fighting but he didn’t know why.
A massive search was underway. A month later, in the boot of David’s car, a sniffer dog found positive indications of decomposition. But, without a body, it wasn’t enough evidence.
Then, in September 2003, a body was found next to a highway. Dental records confirmed it was Heather. Her neck and wrists had been bound with rope. She’d been wrapped in bin bags and dumped.
Both David and Daniel were arrested. Incredibly, they soon pointed the finger at each other.
It took years of legal wrangling, but eventually, a plea agreement was reached, requiring David’s truthful testimony at Daniel’s trial, in exchange for him being allowed to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit second-degree murder.
In August 2012, David DeWild made his guilty plea in court. Then he had to be the star witness against his twin.
At Daniel DeWild’s trial in November, the brothers avoided eye contact.
David testified that Daniel lured Heather into the garage on that July day, and it was there that she met her death.
He told the court how Daniel pushed Heather to the floor and hit her head with a rubber mallet. Next, Daniel tied a noose around her neck and attached it to a pulley system he’d devised using a beam in the ceiling.
Then he hoisted Heather up until she was hanging. David watched it all.
Daniel bound her arms and legs, wrapped her in bin bags and placed her body in the boot of David’s car. But, with little physical evidence, could David be trusted?
The jury found Daniel DeWild guilty of conspiracy to commit Heather’s murder, but were unable to decide whether he’d actually killed her himself and a mistrial was declared on that count.
Daniel ended up pleading guilty to second-degree murder, sparing himself a full life sentence without chance of parole.
He was handed a 74-year prison sentence. David DeWild was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
By Rachel Tompkins