BIRTH: May 6, 1992
DEATH: July 28, 2007
Dani, 15, was strangled to death by two men that were attempting to rape her at a party she was attending with her sister, Ashley.
Dani had spent the previous three weeks visiting her half-sister, Ashley, and her grandmother who lived together in Oregon City, Oregon. She was scheduled to return home the next day, but Ashley had planned a going away party for her sister in nearby Milwaukie. About 20 people showed up to the party.
Ashley discovered her sister’s lifeless body amongst some of the other sleeping party attendees. Dani had last been seen on an apartment balcony. Ashley immediately called police and an investigation began with interviews of several people cops had linked to the case. The county medical examiners ruled that Dani’s death was due to strangulation.
After a week and a half of interviews and pouring over forensic evidence, cops made two arrests in Dani Countryman’s murder investigation.
Alejandro Rivera-Gamboa and his cousin, Gilberto Gamboa were charged with the aggravated murder of Dani.
According to a statement of probable cause filed, Alejandro Rivera-Gamboa told police during an interview that he awoke the night of the party to find his cousin, Gilberto Arellano-Gamboa, on the floor on top of Dani.
“The girl had been struggling and Arellano asked Rivera for help,” the court document said. “Mr. Rivera admitted that he had held her down with his foot on her throat until she stopped moving.”
A shoe seized from Rivera-Gamboa was found to have blood on it, and the pattern on the shoe was consistent with the imprint pattern found on Dani Countryman’s chest.
Tiny Dani, 5 feet tall and weighing 95 pounds, struggled against her would-be rapist. DNA evidence found under Dani’s fingernails (from scratching her assailants) would prove critical in proving the guilt of the two foreign nationals. Gilberto, asked his cousin, Alejandro Rivera-Gamboa, to “shut her up.” The 5 foot, 10 inch, 180 pound illegal alien crushed her windpipe by standing on her neck until she was no longer breathing.
Alejandro Rivera-Gamboa plead guilty to the murder of Dani and was sentenced to life in prison with a chance of parole after 35 years.
Gilberto Arellano Gamboa, was sentenced to six years in jail for attempted sexual abuse.
Shon Jerrod Estes, had charges of sexual abuse and attempted rape dropped in exchange for a plea in Clackamas County Circuit Court. Shon Estes was sentenced to 45 days in jail, followed by 24 months of probation.