By Lou Raguse
The jury in Daphne Wrightâ€™s murder case took its first look at a
gruesome photo Wednesday morning. The photo showed Darlene
VanderGiesenâ€™s feet and lower legs, as investigators found them in
the Sioux Falls landfill on February.
Also at the landfill near the body parts, investigators say they
found orange carpeting and a gray sweatshirt bearing a sign language
logo. Earlier testimony established that Wright owned a similar
sweatshirt, received as a gift from ex-lover Sallie Collins. Wrightâ€™s
roommate Jackie Chesmore testified that Wright left their home to
discard orange carpet.
Investigators searched through 864 tons of trash at the landfill.
Det. Steve Schaefer of the Sioux Falls police department testified
about the alleged crime scene at 1806 S. Phillips Ave. He was the one
who first found bone and tissue matter splattered on the basement
wall, underneath a coat of fresh blue paint.
As a detective, Schaefer says he sometimes observes autopsies. He
testified that he recognized the bone and tissue, because it
resembled what a coronerâ€™s electric saw looks like after an autopsy.
A DNA test later confirmed the bone and tissue matter belonged to
Prosecutors believe Wright dismembered VanderGiesen with a chainsaw
after killing her.
In cross-examination of the detectives, Wrightâ€™s lawyers showed that
they found other bloody items at the landfill, but did not send them
in for DNA testing.
The defense also showed that investigators did not test a pack of
cigarettes found at VanderGiesenâ€™s apartment. The victimâ€™s family
testified that they didnâ€™t believe VanderGiesen smoked, and the
defense suggests the presence of cigarettes proves a different
perpetrator might have been in her apartment.
(( Source:Â Argus Leader ))