Suspect in Murder of ‘The Sandlot’ Star Marty York’s Mother Arrested

Suspect in Murder of ‘The Sandlot’ Star Marty York’s Mother Arrested

The Sandlot star Marty York is in mourning after his mother, Sheriff’s deputy Deanna Esmaeel, was found dead in her California home. And now Esmaeel’s boyfriend, Daniel James Walter, is in custody suspected of her murder.

According to the Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office, Walter was found Friday night in Curry County, Oregon, where he was apprehended by the Brookings Police Department. Law enforcement in Crescent City, California — about 20 miles south of the Oregon border — sent out a BOLO (Be On the Lookout) for Walter and his vehicle after Esmaeel’s body was discovered.

The circumstances surrounding Esmaeel’s death was not revealed, but the Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office quickly named Walter the prime suspect. Police found his vehicle Friday afternoon before they apprehended him later that night.

After news of his mom’s shocking death made headlines, York took to Instagram and pleaded with the public to help law enforcement locate Walter. York shared a photo of him with his mom as well as the sheriff’s bulletin.

“This is the hardest post I’ll ever have to write but I found out from the sheriff’s department last night that my mother was murdered by a man she was seeing,” he wrote in his caption. “The emotions I have are horrible right now between range, vengeance, crying.”

Following a flood of condolences from fans, York replied to one comment saying, “I just want my mom back 😭😭😭.”

“We are all deeply heartbroken with the loss of Deputy Esmaeel,” Del Norte County Sheriff’ Garrett Scott said in a statement. “Our hearts and prayers go out to her family, friends, and co-workers.”

York famously played Alan “Yeah-Yeah” McClennan in the 1993 coming-of-age sports classic. In 2018, the cast reunited on the Today show for the film’s 25th anniversary.

20th Century Fox

In that segment — featuring the actors who played Smalls, Ham, Squints, DeNunez, Timmy, Bertram and Repeat — York opened up about the enduring legacy of the film and its effect on his life. 

“It’s been crazy, it definitely gets you in places for free,” he said at the time, eliciting laughs from his co-stars. “You can’t walk through a Las Vegas casino without someone yelling, ‘Yeah-Yeah!'”


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