Man Admits He Killed Girlfriend Missing For 7 Years, Leads Cops To Remains In Lake

“The person who was supposed to look out for her hurt her,” says the sister of 19-year-old victim Danice Day, a mother of two.

Danice Lea Day was murdered by her boyfriend in 2002. She is shown wearing a red button down shirt. She has long blonde hair.

Danice Lea Day was murdered by her boyfriend in 2002.

Photo by: Discovery Inc [screenshot via S4 E45 of "Disappeared" on ID]

Discovery Inc [screenshot via S4 E45 of "Disappeared" on ID]

By: Aaron Rasmussen

Friends and family of a 19-year-old woman who vanished without a trace in 2002 had to wait seven years before her killer admitted he was guilty of murder and finally brought to justice.

Danice Lea Day was last seen alive on the afternoon of Jan. 9, 2002, when she was leaving her waitressing job at Dos Rios restaurant in Monte Vista, Colorado.

Day returned to her home, where she lived with her boyfriend, Victor Braun, their daughter, Kaylie, and her son from a previous relationship, Joshua.

According to reports, Day allegedly told Braun, then 26, she was planning to go out with a male friend that evening and the two got into an argument.

Day disappeared, leaving behind her personal possessions, including a wallet, keys and phone, and her family reported her missing three days later.

Before the teenager vanished, family said, she had turned her life around after a troubled past, and she was planning to leave Braun and move out of the home they shared.

Authorities got a break in the case when Braun was arrested in 2009 and faced charges related to burglary, drugs and motor vehicle theft.

While incarcerated at the Rio Grande jail, he agreed to a plea deal that allowed him to admit guilt to reckless manslaughter in connection to Day’s death in exchange for telling investigators the location of his girlfriend’s body.

That June, the dive team found charred bones in a welded-shut oil barrel at the bottom of Lyman Lake in Arizona — around 400 miles from where Day was last seen. DNA analysis confirmed the remains belonged to Day.

Forensic pathologist Leon Kelly testified in court that the nearly 1000 bone fragments and femur found in the barrel revealed “the extent to which the perpetrator went to disfigure the body.”

At sentencing, defense attorney David Jones asked for a mid-range sentence, citing Braun’s alleged crack addiction and other extenuating circumstances.

The judge, however, sentenced Braun to the maximum punishment allowed by law for the manslaughter charge — 12 years behind bars, a $1,000 fine, and three years of mandatory parole, the Monte Vista Journal reported.

The judge called Braun’s deal a “bargaining chip” prosecutors offered only as the result of the “years of non-closure” for Day’s family.

In a victim impact statement, Jacqui Flint noted her younger sister was “my best friend, a big part of my life.”

“I tried to watch out for her, but I couldn’t. The person who was supposed to look out for her hurt her,” Flint told the court. “I can’t comprehend how you could hurt someone like that… Her kids don’t have a mom. They’ve lost their mom and a lot of their father… It’s incomprehensible. It’s just not fair.”

“Think of her legacy through her children,” the judge reminded Day’s loved ones. “When they smile, you will see her smile; when they hug you, she will be hugging you.”

You can watch this episode of “Disappeared” titled “Daddy’s Girl” on discovery+.

Disappeared Podcast

The official Disappeared podcast from ID, dives into stories of missing people and the chilling details of their disappearances. On every episode, you’ll hear direct audio from episodes of the hit TV series Disappeared — and now, you can uncover the mystery while you’re on the go.

Listen on Apple, Spotify and Audible.

Next Up

Walmart Surveillance Captured The Moments A Man Stepped Into Danger’s Path

25-year-old Christopher Gray had plans to spend the night with his friends, so it took his family more than a day to realize he was missing.

An Arizona Man Kills Two People, Claims It Was A Love Triangle Gone Bad

When police were summoned to the scene of a shooting in Mesa, Arizona on May 31, 2016, they found a woman who had been shot to death and a man clinging to life.

Virginia Murder Linked To Serial Killer Who Took 10-Year Hiatus

When an Alexandria, Virginia man was murdered in 2013, police noticed an eerie similarity between his death and a crime that happened a decade before.

Never Give Up: Persistence And Science Solved A Heinous Colorado Murder

The case of what happened to Darlene Krashoc haunted homicide detective Joe Kenda for more than 30 years after the gruesome discovery of her body.

Man Attacked Two Girlfriends Under Eerily Similar Circumstances — But Only One Survived

“Someone had to die for the truth to be known, and that’s heartbreaking,” says the survivor about her life being turned upside.

John Walsh Features FBI Top 10 Most Wanted: Omar Cardenas

Authorities say Omar Cardenas is a member of the "Pierce Street Gang." He was added to the FBI Top 10 Most Wanted in July 2022. If you have any information on his whereabouts, please submit your tips to or text 1-833-378-7783 (3-PURSUE).

Virginia Couple Murdered While On 2002 Beach Vacation

Josh Ford and Geney Crutchley were spending Memorial Day weekend in Ocean City, Maryland, but things took a horrifying turn after they met another couple.

Fugitive Ryan-Rivera-Meister Extradited, Alleged To Have Killed 16-Month-Old Baby

Authorities say Ryan Rivera-Meister was captured in July 2021 in Guatemala.

A Florida Man Used COVID-19 To Hide The Murder Of His Ex-Wife

David Anthony first told police that his ex-wife was on the run because she had discovered alleged financial crimes on the part of her employer, but police had surveillance tape, digital trails, and witnesses to refute his lies.

Man Convicted Of Killing Couple, Their 2 Sons, 10 Years After Family’s Skeletal Remains Found In Desert

ID’s 'Two Shallow Graves' explores the controversial murder trial of Charles “Chase” Merritt.