Two years later, no charges in murder
This Friday marks the two-year anniversary of the slaying of 22-year-old Danielle Howard, killed on a dark Gordonsville street, and family members are upset that no arrests have been made.
"What the hell's going on?" wonders her brother, Michael Howard, as the second anniversary approaches. "[Police] tell you to be patient. We were asked to be quiet. Nothing has moved along, and we sit here with another anniversary of her death, with nothing happening."
At the time of the killing on February 22, 2006, "Dani" Howard had just bought a Saab, broken up with her boyfriend, an older man named Curtis "L.A." Waldron Jr., and, according to her brother, was getting her life together. She'd moved her clothes and computer into her mother's house, and had asked Michael to bring his truck to remove the rest of her belongings.
At 12:27am February 22, Gordonsville police received reports of gunfire on a residential street. The engine was still running on her Saab, and Dani had been shot through the heart. To her family, it seemed obvious she had stopped for someone she knew.
A witness reported seeing a white or light gray van leaving the scene, and three weeks later, a white minivan registered to Dani was found parked in a Culpeper office park. Her brother says Dani had let her boyfriend, whom the Hook was unable to locate, have the 1995 Ford Windstar.
A federal grand jury has been investigating her slaying, and because the investigation crossed several jurisdictions, that's slowed resolution, said former Orange Sheriff C.G. Feldman before he retired last July.
The case is still in the hands of federal prosecutors, and is moving forward in "a positive manner," says the current sheriff, Mark Amos. "Hopefully," he adds, "I can report on something in the near future."
Such words, however, don't console bereaved brother Michael. "Does anyone," he asks, "care we have no justice?"