DENVER — Prosecutors charged a Colorado woman with her father’s murder this week after police investigating his disappearance found the 69-year-old’s body encased in concrete in the crawl space under his home.
Dayna Jennings was arrested Jan. 10 after police searched her father’s suburban Denver home and found the remains, about a month after family and friends stopped hearing from William Mussack.
Police interviewed Jennings on Jan. 10 as other investigators searched the house and she admitted pouring concrete in the crawlspace, according to an arrest warrant affidavit made public on Wednesday after Jennings was charged Tuesday.
When police then told Jennings that investigators were breaking up the concrete, “she stated that she wished to speak with a lawyer,” the affidavit said.
Jennings, who is 44, also is charged with tampering with a deceased human body. She is jailed without bond and it was not clear whether she has an attorney.
Police in the city of Federal Heights near Denver began investigating Mussack’s disappearance in late December when his brother asked officers to check on his brother after not speaking for several weeks.
Officers first visited Mussack’s home on Dec. 28 and Jennings told them her father did not live there. Mussack’s brother, Robert, remained concerned and police went back and got permission from Jennings to look around the house. Police reported in the affidavit that the house smelled “like sewage and something rotting.”
Jennings told officers a toilet had overflowed in the basement, which was where her father usually slept. She said her father had gone to the mountains with his girlfriend, leaving his phone behind, and she had not seen him in several weeks.
Family members, though, insisted Mussack would not have dropped contact with them and police returned to the house several days later. But Jennings would not let them in, the affidavit said.
Police determined that none of Mussack’s other family members, his girlfriend or friends had heard from him since early December.
Mussack’s son, Brian, later told police that his father sent a text message on Dec. 7, saying that Jennings had “drugged” him and he “had been unconscious for 15 hours after taking a bite of hamburger she had given him,” according to the affidavit. Brian Mussack said that was the last time he heard from his father.
Brian Mussack also told officers that Jennings texted him two weeks later complaining that their father was struggling to make payments on his house and being abusive. Mussack’s son said he was skeptical because his father was “mild mannered” and careful with money.
Jennings’ ex-husband, Joel, told police that her massage business had closed in November.
The affidavit also said Jennings ordered two dumpsters delivered to the house in December and police reported seeing flooring and carpet debris in front of the house. Joel Jennings also told police he wouldn’t expect her to do major house remodeling work on her own.
The affidavit also says Mussack’s phone showed almost no activity from that time until Dec. 29, when his sister received a photo via text message. Cell phone data showed that the phone was near his home at the time.
As investigators searched the house on Jan. 10, Jennings was taken to the Federal Heights police station for an interview. One of the officers questioning her received a text message that police at the house had found human remains encased in concrete inside a crawl space.
Police continued the interview and, at some point, she admitted to pouring concrete in the crawl space, the affidavit said. Police then told Jennings that investigators at the house were breaking up the concrete. She asked for a lawyer, and they ended the interview before her arrest.
Jennings is due back in court on Feb. 15.