On the night of February 1, 2002 7 year old Danielle was taken out of the safety of her bed from her home by, at the time, an unknown suspect. The following morning a frantic search of the neighborhood was made but to no avail. In the following days a massive civilian search effort was organized by the Laura Recovery Center in addition to the efforts of all branches of San Diego Law enforcement. Over 3,000 people volunteered to search for Danielle.
On February 27, Danielle's body was found by a group from the Danielle Search Center. She had been murdered and left in a remote area of San Diego County. 2 days earlier a neighbor had been arrested in connection with Danielle's disappearance. He was later convicted of her Kidnapping and Murder.
The Danielle Legacy Foundation was formed to honor Danielle's life and to bring about changes so that no other child has to go through what she endured and also to promote volunteerism which was such a part of Danielle's legacy.