Black Hawk County in Iowa
Black Hawk County in Iowa
Waterloo in Black Hawk CountyWaterloo in Black Hawk County

Daniel John Andersen

Missing Person

Name: Daniel John Andersen
July 9, 1987
Age At Report:
50 lbs.
Incident Type:
Child lost/wandered away
Home Residence: Cedar Falls
Missing From: Waterloo
Black Hawk County
Agency: Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Office
Missing Since:
January 25, 1992


The Gazette, Jan. 27, 1992

The Gazette, Jan. 27, 1992

Four-year-old Daniel J. Andersen was reported missing to the Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Office in Waterloo, Iowa, on January 25, 1992.

The toddler was last seen wearing blue snow-pants and a blue jacket near Finchford, Iowa, about five miles north of Cedar Falls.

At the time of his disappearance, he was described as a 3-foot tall white male with brown hair, brown eyes, and weighing about 50 pounds.

According to a Cedar Rapids Gazette article published January 27, 1992, the Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Department said the boy was visiting at a house on Newell Road with his father, David Andersen.

The Gazette reported that authorities found small footprints in the snow leading from the residence onto the nearby river and onto the ice.

More than 20 years later, no signs of the boy have ever surfaced.

West Fork Cedar River

The area near where Daniel Andersen went missing.

Information Needed

If you have any information about Daniel Andersen’s unsolved disappearance, please contact the Missing Person Information Clearinghouse / Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation at 1-800-346-5507 or the Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Office at (319) 291-2587.


17 Responses to Daniel Andersen

  1. Tai Torres says:

    My daughter had a dream where Daniel came to her in a dream! I looked up everything she said & it matches this case perfectly! Who do i contact about this???

  2. Sheri Huber-Otting says:

    I know this family. Danny is the same age as my son. The search was extensive. My husband was one of the people who helped search. There was an underwater search as well. The river was not frozen over, so there would be no ice break. Often in January there is a thaw and the river gets big and flows very quickly. Also, people greive and celebrate the life of a loved one in different ways. I don't think I would want a large memorial either if this had been my son instead. Reading these comments made my heart ache with the sadness of that loss once again. To see comments like these from others who only read this info for their knowlege of the tragedy can be hurtful to those who loved Danny and still love his family.

  3. Laura says:

    I agree Sherri. Incomplete information is very misleading. It would be great if those details and a photo were courtesy placed on this site to avoid those assumptions.

    • Kim says:

      I’ve looked this case up in the online newspaper archives and at the time Daniel went missing, there apparently were no pictures submitted to the print media. I found a very brief article in the Cedar Rapids Gazette (dated Jan. 27, 1992) about the case, but there’s not much information. It just says he went missing after he and his father were visiting at a house on Newell Road in Finchford, five miles north of Cedar Falls. Authorities found small footprints in the snow leading from the house to the west fork of the Cedar River, so the presumption was he wandered down to the river and fell in. At the time of the article, they’d already dragged the river for two days in search of his body and had at that point called a halt to the search operations because they had no results. I’m not sure if they resumed search operations after that, nothing further was said in the paper. This site can only use whatever information is submitted to them by either the investigators or family members, or whatever can be found in an online archive. Since the authorities at the time didn’t consider Daniel’s disappearance to be anything suspicious like a homicide or kidnapping, there wasn’t much information to release to the public. And if the parents or investigators never submitted a picture to either this site or to the print media, there’s no way it can be posted here to Daniel’s page.

      • Jody Ewing says:

        Thanks so much, Kim, and I’ve included a link here to the article you referenced.

        The article “did” state that Daniel may have wandered out onto the ice, so I’d be interested in hearing more from Sheri about the extensive search and the underwater search; those who participated in the search would know whether or not the river was frozen over, and it’s those kinds of details that can be quite helpful in a case like this. Firsthand experiences take on even more meaning when next to nothing was ever reported in newspapers after the initial report of Daniel’s disappearance.

        Kim is absolutely right about why we don’t always have photos to accompany the victim’s case summary. We always include a victim photo here if one is available (even an old black and white newsprint photo is better than nothing at all), but if we’re not provided a copy by either law enforcement, the victim’s family or another source, we’ve no further options if we can’t find one online in newspaper archives. The Iowa Department of Public Safety’s Missing Person Information Clearinghouse does not show a photo for Daniel, either. Sadly, the vast majority of missing persons cases submitted to the IDPS MPIC site do not contain a photo, and for those that did, the photo is no longer available there.

        As of Jan. 30, 2016, the MPIC shows a total of 313 missing persons, though only six of those cases include a photo (just 2% of all cases). I don’t understand this because many cases once included photos that the MPIC has since removed. My attempts to contact the MPIC site and provide photos (along with documented sources for each photo) have gone unanswered. On the ICC website, I include “direct links to the person’s page at MPIC” (vs. a generic link to MPIC’s home page) and in many instances a page now comes up saying the individual is no longer listed as missing. But, if one types the person’s last name into the MPIC search box, the site displays the name to indicate they indeed are still listed as missing (they just have a different url).

        As always, we encourage our readers and family members to submit photos of loved ones (preferably recent head and shoulder shots) for inclusion on ICC so readers can connect a face with a name. Photos also help spark memories of those who may have seen something or recognize the person. Our search for photos is ongoing.

  4. andrea says:

    Here is his grandmother’s obit:

    Joan A. Lawrence, 89, of Cedar Falls, died Saturday, October 5, 2013, at her home in Cedar Falls. She was born December 23,1923 in McIntosh, Minnesota, the daughter of Albert and Ida (Solie) Rasmussen. Joan married Charles Lawrence on November 11, 1951 in McIntosh, Minnesota. They were later divorced. She graduated from McIntosh High School and Concordia College with a B A degree. Joan was a teacher associate at Price Lab for twenty six years and retired in 1993.

    She is survived by three sons; Jeffrey (Susan) Lawrence of Des Moines, Iowa, Darby (Vicki) Lawrence of Rochester, Minnesota, and Jay Lawrence of Waterloo; one daughter, Nancy (Dave) Andersen of Cedar Falls; fourteen grandchildren; three great grandchildren; one brother, Lowell Rasmussen, of Erskine, Minnesota, and one sister, Fern Rasmussen of White Water, Wisconsin; three sister-in-laws, Char Rasmussen of St. Paul, Minnesota, Ardyth Rasmussen of Salem, Oregon, and Wilma Rasmussen of Vacaville, California.

    Joan was preceded in death by her parents, one grandchild, Daniel Andersen; three brothers, Gordon, Don, and John Rasmussen, and one sister-in-law, Marian Rasmussen.

    Services will be 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, October 9, 2013 at Nazareth Lutheran Church with visitation from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Tuesday, October 8, 2013 at the family home, 1821 Walnut St. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Nazareth Lutheran Church, KUNI, KHKE, or IPTV. Condolences may be left at

  5. andrea says:

    January 27, 1992, the Des Moines register reported:

    “Authorities continued their search Sunday for a 4-year-old boy who apparently slipped into the West Fork of the Cedar River here Saturday afternoon. Daniel Andersen, 4, of Cedar Falls, was believed to have fallen into the water from Ice near the shore, Black Hawk County sheriffs officials said. Authorities said Daniel and his father, David Andersen, were visiting friends at Finchford Saturday when the accident occurred.”

  6. Laura Edmondson says:

    I'd be looking for his body for burial and dredging the river…. search teams…. anything.

  7. Laura Edmondson says:

    Whenever I see a story like this, I really have to wonder… why there is no information on the details of it. It just looks suspicious that the parents still have not been updating the search. A story like this, would make national headlines. . . . Even 20 years later with the technology today….
    Why no details about snow prints? He would have left a trail had he wandered away in "'snow"pants….. depending on the weather. You would think there would have been a break in ice if he fell in…. I don't get it, not even a memorial tribute of a grieving family and community. …. very strange.

    • T. says:

      This boy was my best friends younger brother. I played with them most days. Nothing suspicious about his death. It was a heartbreaking tragedy. There are more details than published.

      • MikeD says:

        I kind of feel like a 2020 search team wouldn’t have stopped after just 2 days. In 2018 when Jake Wilson went missing in La Porte City they were still actively searching the river and log jams and things even a month later. Are the missing details that the search continued?

  8. Joyce Roster says:

    I remember this. I believe his footprints in the fresh snow lead to the riverbank with no tracks returning. So sad.

  9. I pray someone finds him.

  10. Laura Edmondson says:

    Why no photo?

  11. Tina Carroll says:

    not many details listed.. no picture… tried to google his name too… not much out there about him missing… very sad

  12. Stephanie Althof says:

    Has this case ever been compared to NamUs UP 5971?

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