A Minnesota mother reportedly helped in convicting the man who killed her 18-year-old daughter in September 2019 by stashing a tracking device in the teen’s car before her death.
Wendy Poulson told the New York Post that she put the SafeTrack device in her adoptive daughter Dani’s car trunk before overdose death. The device — which also logs driving speed — not only helped Poulsen quickly find her daughter’s body in St. Louis Park, but it helped police determine that she was last at the home of Calvonzo Burnett, 30.
Poulsen said she decided to secretly track Dani after her athletic A-student daughter started to experiment with drugs. Her daughter became dejected, depressed, and lost interest in her typical hobbies, Poulsen recalled.
Poulsen said she was also pushed to keep tabs on Dani due to the death of her 25-year-old brother, who vanished from their mother’s Wisconsin home in 1991. The Journal Times reported that moose hunters in Manitoba, Canada, discovered his partial remains more than two years later. His death remains unsolved decades later, and authorities have not ruled out foul play.
On the weekend of Dani’s death, Poulsen was at the family cabin and became concerned because the teen stopped responding to texts or calls. Dani reportedly told Poulsen she was staying home to watch their five dogs, but the tracker in her car placed her elsewhere.
“I got sicker in my stomach as the hours went by,” Poulsen told the Post.
Polsen’s stepdaughter’s husband went to the location where Dani’s car was parked, and he reportedly found her dead in the passenger seat.
Autopsy and toxicology reports confirmed Dani had a combination of Xanax, cocaine, methamphetamine, and fentanyl in her system. As a result, the coroner concluded she died of mixed drug toxicity.
Dani purchased fentanyl from Burnett before her death. Phone records confirmed the pair were in the vicinity of Burnett’s home hours before Dani was found dead, according to the Star Tribune.
According to the Post, data from the GPS device Poulsen hid in Dani’s trunk was also used to link Burnett to her death. Burnett was also charged for the death of Jordan Knudson, 18, who died in February 2020 from a drug overdose.
In October 2020, Burnett pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree murder and was sentenced to five years in prison.
“The tracker couldn’t help me control Dani’s behavior and I knew it wasn’t going to stop her from doing something [risky],” Poulsen explained to the Post. “But it showed the most value in the end game.”
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[Featured image: Wendy and Dani Poulsen/Facebook]