Emotion Strikes VanderGiesen’s Family

Photo of Darlene VanderGiesen

By Lou Raguse

Four days into Daphne Wright’s murder trial, emotion struck the
victim’s family.

Darlene VanderGiesen’s mother Dee had to leave the courtroom in tears
today. The jury was examining a number of gruesome photos and pieces
of a bra prosecutors say Wright burned off VanderGiesen’s body.

The rest of the VanderGiesen family was also wiping away tears by the
lunch break, as jurors got to see what the victim’s face looked like
after being found in a Minnesota ditch. A key witness for the
prosecution, a crime lab technician, listed off the evidence against
Daphne Wright and described it on the stand.

During the investigation, forensic chemist Jessica Lichty was at
every location pertaining to the crime. She examines the evidence for
the police.

Evidence that was difficult for the victim’s family to hear.

At Wright’s home, Lichty found blood stains on the concrete floor.
When searching the vehicle Wright drove, she found another blood
stain on the bumper. Prosecutors say it was VanderGiesen’s blood, and
that Wright used that vehicle to dump her body parts.

In the Sioux Falls landfill, searchers found VanderGiesen’s pelvis
and upper legs wrapped in bed sheets decorated with ducks. Wright’s
roommate says those sheets are hers and now are missing from the
house they shared.

When highway worker Keith Schmuck found the rest of VanderGiesen’s
body in a ditch near Beaver Creek, Minnesota, earlier evidence Lichty
examined began to make sense. VanderGiesen’s face was covered by
clear plastic bag, with twine tied around the neck tight enough to
cut off the oxygen.

Lichty testified that she and other investigators had already found a
spool that matched that twine — in Daphne Wright’s garage.

Other compelling evidence shown today: a searcher at the landfill
found a plastic bag filled with the clothes Darlene VanderGiesen
allegedly wore the day she died. The shirt was torn and bloody.

In cross examination, the defense continued its strategy of
suggesting investigators didn’t follow other leads. The most specific
accusation involved a shirt found in the landfill near the body parts
bearing a Wells Fargo logo. That’s where Wright’s girlfriend Sallie
Collins works.

(( Source:  KELOLAND TV ))