Unsolved Mysteries Wiki

Danny Piñeda

Real Name: Daniel Piñeda
Aliases: Danny Piñeda
Wanted For: Rape
Missing Since: November 1991

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Details: In the early summer of 1991, thirteen-year-old Lancaster, Pennsylvania resident Nanette Brana met nineteen-year-old Danny Piñeda at church. He was a track star at McCaskey High School who broke several state and county records. He was also shy and quiet. The two started to spend time with each other, usually at each other's houses. Despite the age difference, the relationship was fine at first. Danny was caring and affectionate towards her. Each day, he escorted her to and from school.
Because of the age difference, Nanette's mother Nancy kept a close eye on their relationship. At first, she liked him and felt that the two were good together. However, he soon became possessive over her. He would follow her, call her, and try to be with her all of the time. However, fearing that her daughter would rebel against her, Nancy decided not to say anything about her disapproval of the relationship.
Two months after they began dating, Nanette began to feel smothered by Danny's obsessive infatuation. He would show up outside of her classroom windows, calling out her name. Sometimes, he would wait outside for hours before she came out of school. He also wouldn't let her talk to other guys or even smile at them. He also forced her to dress and do her hair a certain way. At that point, Nancy put her foot down.
On November 13, 1991, Nanette had had enough; on her way to class, she stopped by to see Danny and handed him a note. In the letter, she said that she was too young to have a boyfriend and wanted to spend more time with her family. She closed by saying: Maybe in the future, when I get older, we can get together again. Afterwards, she felt bad about the breakup because she didn't want to hurt him. During the school day, she also began to worry that he might retaliate.
The school day came and went without incident. Later that afternoon, when Nanette was walking on Chesapeake Street, just six blocks from her house, she encountered Danny. As he held out her note, he began to yell at her. She was unaware that he had a kitchen knife, cellophane tape, and a can of mace on him as well. During the argument, he pulled out the mace and sprayed her in the face. He then dragged her into the woods and brutally raped her.
An hour later, Nanette was spotted by an officer patrolling the area. She was crying and screaming for her mother. Five minutes later, Nancy, who was out searching for her daughter, chanced upon the scene. For three days, nobody saw or heard from Danny. Then, he called Nanette's house. Nancy answered and told him that he had to go to the police station. He said that he wanted to apologize and tell them "what really happened". Nancy gave the phone to her cousin Judith; she told him that he could talk to her. He asked to meet in a nearby park in fifteen minutes. She agreed to do so. But first, she called the police.
A trap was quickly put in place. While Judith tried to keep Danny distracted and talking, the police closed in. However, as they were walking, he spotted police cars and began running away. He then went into the nearby woods and vanished. This was the last time he was seen by police.
Although Danny was gone, his shadow continued to fall on the lives of Nanette and Nancy. They lived in constant fear, not only of him, but also of his friends and family. On one occasion, one of his friends arrived at their house. He banged on the doors and windows, demanding to be let in. He also told them that they should leave Danny alone. His friends and family have told Nancy that she should have the charges dropped. However, she refused to do so. They told her that she should forgive him, but she said that he needs to face the consequences first.
It is now believed that Danny's family has helped him leave the area. Nanette says that she will not feel safe until Danny is arrested.
Extra Notes: This case originally aired on January 12, 1994.
Results: Captured. On the morning before the broadcast, Danny Piñeda was arrested in a small town forty miles from San Juan, Puerto Rico. The arrest was made thanks to information from a confidential informant. He was extradited back to Pennsylvania to face multiple charges of rape and assault. He pleaded guilty to rape and was sentenced to five-to-fifteen years in prison. He was paroled in October of 2001 after serving seven years.
Nanette still lives in Philadelphia and is now married with four children.