Sacto 9-1-1
September 12, 2013
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What happened to man who killed woman, dumped body in Wilton-area pond?

Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.

QUESTION: What happened to Danny Ray Steele, who was arrested on suspicion of killing a woman and submerging her body in a pond by a rope on his father's land?
Submitted by: Glenda, Citrus Heights

ANSWER: Danny Raymond Steele pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter in the 2001 death of Phyllis Dianne Elame, 53.

According to Sacramento Superior Court online records, he was sentenced in December 2005 to 10 years in state prison.

Elame, a Rancho Cordova resident and educator for 16 years, was reported missing Feb. 8, 2001, by her mother, who said she and her daughter kept in touch daily. According to a story in The Bee, she had last been seen with friends and was headed to the Elk Grove area.

Elame's decomposed body was found June 7, 2001, in a pond on Steele's father's land near the Cosumnes River, south of Wilton Road. A rope around her neck had been tied to a tree trunk.

Steele, then 52, was arrested in December of that year at a Reno motel, where investigators found him after receiving a tip from the Secret Witness hotline.

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