Penn Hills resident, a Trib employee, missing for more than year
Just over a year ago, Penn Hills resident Daniel Niehaus, then 59 years old, called in sick to his job at Trib Total Media.
He never returned.
Niehaus has been missing for a year as of May 28, and both police and missing-persons advocates say the prospects of his safe return are not good.
“It's a difficult case,” said Det. Benjamin Westwood of the Penn Hills Police Department. Westwood took over the case from Det. Joseph Blaze in October 2013, after Blaze was promoted to sergeant.
Westwood said Niehaus' relatives have been in regular contact with the department, and are taking care of his affairs in Penn Hills. The taxes on Niehaus' Lime Hollow Road home were paid in April 2014.
Westwood did not want to compromise any details of the case, but said that “there's been an extensive investigation.”
Penn Hills resident Nancy Monahan, who operates the Pennsylvania Missing Persons website, said information is important if the case is to be solved.
“The more information you can get out there, the better the probability of finding him,” Monahan said. “At this point, I don't have high hopes that he's alive.”
She also serves as a victim advocate for the U.S. Justice Department-funded National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, or NamUs, which posts profiles of missing and unidentified persons.
“Whatever happened to him, if he has dental records or DNA uploaded, anything they can get from unidentified remains, NamUs sort of automatically checks,” she said.
And while she is not optimistic, Monahan would never say that the case will not be solved, and cited examples to support her position.
“There was a gentleman missing from Bloomsburg (Pa.) for probably three years,” she said. “Nobody thought he was alive. And then, out of the blue, he came home. He left to try and start over again, it didn't work out, and then he just came home.”
Monahan also mentioned a case originating in the 1950s, where the niece of a woman who'd gone missing eventually entered information into the NamUs site, found a match to an unidentified body and was able to get some closure.
Monahan said she would encourage Niehaus' family to try to keep the investigation as current as possible.
Trib Total Media has offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to Niehaus' return.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact Det. Westwood at 412-798-2016.
Niehaus' profile can be viewed at PAmissing.com.
Patrick Varine is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7845 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.