An Unsolved July 4th Child Murder Still ‘Haunts’ Southeast Texas
Dannarriah Finley was only weeks away from turning 5-years-old when she was snatched from her bedroom in the middle of the night, police say.
It's been nearly 20 years since 4-year-old Dannarriah Finley was murdered in Beaumonth, TX. The young girl had her entire life ahead of her when she was ripped away, in the middle of the night, from her own bedroom and those she loved.
According to published reports, Dannarriah was snatched from her home in Orange on July 4, 2002. Dannarriah was raped and murdered and discarded. Her battered body was located only four days later on Pleasure Island, published reports added.
According to a 2018 12 News report, Orange Police told the station they believe the suspect was someone local and a "calculated killer who carefully planned Dannarriah's kidnapping."
Orange County Police Department Captain Robert Enmon told 12 News his department immediately sprung into action that holiday. The case is still open and they are never giving up. "We had people horseback bound four wheelers. We had groups walking down the streets... going to every house looking every backyard looking under homes and building sheds," Emmon said. Strangers were covering streets and helping in any way they could.
Pastor of Mount Zion Baptist Church, C.W. Crawford spoke at Dannarriah's funeral. He told the local news station the memory of burying this child is something that will stay with him, "People who didn’t really know Dannarriah was crying and shedding tears. She was one 4-year-old kid that brought this whole community together."
In 2016, Deborah Mitchell spoke out about her feelings on Dannarriah's case. Mitchell reportedly worked for the school where the child attended. "My husband happened to be one of the detectives on that case at the time and I saw him just crumble and cry," Mitchell said.
DNA has been submitted to labs, but a match has not been made. If you have any information, please contact the Orange Police directly: (409) 883-1026