Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The bizarre case of Duane Hurley and Daniel Kovarbasich

Going to School

Daniel Kovarbasich
Daniel Kovarbasich

Friday, January 22, 2010 started out as another typical winter's day at the North Ridgeville, Ohio home of Terry Kovarbasich. Everyone was glad that the week was nearly over. Terry, unemployed at the time, was getting ready to drive his wife, Donna, to work that morning, and to drop his son, Daniel, 16, off at the home of family friend Duane Hurley, 55, who had agreed to take the teenager to school. Since the family was strapped for money during the tough economic times that nearly everyone was experiencing, Terry was pleased that Hurley had offered to take Daniel to school—cutting corners could only help their situation, or so Terry had thought. Less driving meant they could save money on expensive gas, money that could be used for other purposes, such as putting food on the table.

Danny, as Daniel was more commonly known, was not fond of going to school and had not done well, particularly in a behavioral sense, during his early high school years. His troubling behavior had, in fact, caused him and his family serious problems, including getting himself expelled from school several times. As a result, Danny was at that time attending an alternative school for troubled youths where everyone hoped he could turn his life around. That particular Friday Danny did not want to attend classes at all, but he was talked into going when his parents agreed to help him with the money he needed for a candlelight dinner celebration he had planned for his girlfriend, Katie. He and Katie had been together for a year, and he needed about $80 for a candlelight dinner and enough roses so that he could spell "I love you" with them in the snow.

Terry Kovarbasich
Terry Kovarbasich

It was shortly before 7:30 a.m. when Terry dropped Danny off at Hurley's house, located on Ronald Drive, and everyone seemed pleased that the deal to get Danny to go to school that day had worked. Little did anyone know that half an hour later a real life nightmare would begin in the form of a homicide investigation that would not only stagger this middle class family but would also stun an entire community that was as American as baseball and apple pie.

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