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Latest Missing Person Video for danyel-lou-sparpana
Latest Missing Person Photos for
Missing Danyel Lou Sparpana
Danyel, circa 1985; Age progression forensics photo to age 29 (circa 2011)
Missing Since 11/02/1985
West Sacramento, California
Classification Non-Family Abduction
Date of Birth Used 06/23/1982 (38)
Age 3 years old
Height and Weight 3'0 - 3'1, 38 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian female. Blonde hair, blue eyes. Danyel has a rust-colored birthmark on her kneecap, approximately one inch by two inches in size. Her ears are pierced, and her hair was cut short at the time of her November 1985 disappearance.
Details of Disappearance Danyel was last seen inside her family's residence in the 1900 block of Manzanita Way in West Sacramento, California on November 2, 1985.
Her mother, Cynthia Mullennix Sparpana, was found deceased by police inside the residence on November 5; she had been dead for two or three days. Cynthia was the victim of a violent homicide; she had been beaten and shot in the back of the head.
None of Danyel's belongings were missing from their home, but there were reported sightings of her wandering around the neighborhood between the time her mother was killed and the time the body was discovered. She has never been heard from again.
Lionel Ernest Tholmer Jr. was named as the prime suspect in the Sparpanas' cases shortly afterwards. He had been an acquaintance of the family and sometime boyfriend of Cynthia's.
Authorities believed that Tholmer was also responsible for the November 1985 slaying of California resident John B. Meadows. Meadows was Tholmer's ex-wife's stepfather and investigators believe Tholmer wanted to frame him for Cynthia's murder.
At his trial, Tholmer's lawyers argued that he was innocent of Cynthia's murder and that Danyel had not been murdered at all. There have been unconfirmed sightings of her since her mother's death. Tholmer was convicted of the Sparpanas' murders in November 1992. He was originally sentenced to death, but the sentence was reduced to life in prison without parole.
Danyel's remains have never been located. Foul play is suspected in her case due to the circumstances involved.
Some agencies may list November 5, 1985, the date her mother's body was found, as the date of Danyel's disappearance.
Investigating Agency / Department