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Who Is Dennis Day? New Details On The Death Of The Mouseketeer Who's Been Missing Since 2018

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Who Is Dennis Day? New Details On The Death Of The Mouseketeer Who's Been Missing Since 2018

Since July of 2018 Oregon authorities have been grappling with the case of the missing Mouseketeer. Dennis Day, who appeared in the first two seasons of the classic children’s program, disappeared from the Oregon home he shared with his husband nearly a year ago. His husband’s dementia and Day’s sporadic communication with his family meant that police didn’t even know he was missing for weeks after his disappearance. They found his car parked miles from his home and an unnamed roommate said he had left to visit friends on foot. Police searched but never found him.

Now, with the help of cadaver dogs, Day has finally be located but tragically, he was not found alive. Who is Dennis Day and what happened to him? Read on for all the details.

1. Mousketeer

NBC reports that in the 1950s, Dennis and his older sister Nelda started performing together as a duo. Their mother was a fan of musicals and encouraged the kids to take dance lessons at a young age. By the time they were 10 and 12 years old, they were steadily working in television, commercials and appeared in the James Cagney film A Lion Is In The Streets. A big break came for Dennis and Nelda when they were invited to audition for the Mickey Mouse Club. They planned on doing a dance routine but were held up by mistakes the piano player made. Dennis stopped the act and took a moment to speak with the musician to correct the problem and they started again. the producers were impressed by his professionalism and talent. Dennis was cast on the first season of the show.

His family has been concerned.

2. Disney years

Dennis was on the show for two seasons and was mainly highlighted in dance segments and for his facial reactions to other bits the cast was doing, according to The Original Mickey Mouse Club fan site. He wasn’t a singer, which surprised Disney. “I didn't sing at my audition and it was a shock to them that I couldn't sing, period," he told Rolling Stone years after the show went off the air.

He was a Mouseketeer for two years as a child.

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3. Theatre career

In the years following his Mickey Mouse Club stint, he headed east to work in theater in New York.  Later, he returned to California where he directed, choreographed and performed at entertainment venues like the California Renaissance Pleasure Faires and the Dickens Christmas Faire. He did a few Disney reunion shows later on such as the show celebrating Mickey Mouse’s 40th birthday.

His cause of death is unkown.

4. Ernie Caswell

In the 1980s, Dennis met and fell in love with Ernie Caswell. The two worked together running a home for indigent actors in California. They eventually moved to Oregon together and were able to marry in 2009, when same sex marriage was legalized. At the time, Dennis told a local paper: "We've been together 37 years, so we're from a period where there was no thought of marriage. I cry at weddings, but I never thought I would be crying at mine.”

Day was married but his husband has memory issues.

5. Vanished

In July of 2018, Dennis disappeared. His husband Ernie has been hospitalized for numerous health conditions, including memory issues so it was weeks before he fully realized that Dennis hadn’t been around to visit him in a while. Ernie persuaded someone to call the police to go looking for his husband and they discovered that he was missing. Months later, a news program featured the story of his disappearance and that was when Dennis’s sister first knew that her brother was gone.

He has been missing for nearly a year.

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6. Investigation

When police went to Ernie and Dennis’ home to investigate, they spoke to a man who was living there as a roommate. That person told investigators that Dennis had allegedly left the house on foot, saying he was going to visit friends. Dennis left behind his car, which was later found near the Oregon shoreline. It was being occupied by people who Dennis did not know. Police were stymied in their search because since he disappeared he hasn’t used his credit card or accessed his bank accounts. He has never had social media accounts and only used a prepaid cell phone that cannot be traced.

Police were stumped.

7. Tragic discovery

After months of no leads, police finally decided to bring in cadaver dogs to search Dennis Day's home, according to Crime Online. In April, the dog located a body in the home and the Oregon State Police began the process of identifying the remains. According to a statement from the Oregon State Police: “On  June 6, 2019, the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s office identified the body found in the residence listed in the previous release by the investigation, evidence, and other information as that of the missing person, Dennis Day. “

Day will be missed.

At this time, police aren’t saying what happened to Dennis Day and how he died. They have not named any persons of interest in the case.  He had being missing for almost a year by at the time his body was discovered.

Rebekah Kuschmider has been writing about celebrities, pop culture, entertainment, and politics since 2010. Her work has been seen at Ravishly, Babble, Scary Mommy, The Mid, Redbook online, and The Broad Side. She is the creator of the blog Stay at Home Pundit and she is a cohost of the weekly podcast The More Perfect Union.