Alleged Killer in Year-Long Hart County Death Investigation in Court

By: Lauren Forsythe Email
By: Lauren Forsythe Email

"There was no way he could commit suicide. And I found it impossible for him to be that close down to the river for him just to have fallen in," Collins says.

A 19-year-old accused of killing Hart County teenager Brandon Crain last year was arraigned in court this morning.

Daniel Hostetler has been charged with manslaughter.

Those close to Crain never thought answers would come.

This time last year, his body was found in the Green River in Butler County, several miles down river from Hart County.

Crain had been missing for several months, and it was a tragic end to a long search.

The Hart County Sheriff's Office originally ruled the death accidental, but Crain's family never gave up hope.

"They didn't believe any of the stories we all heard. They didn't believe an accidental drowning occurred, and we honestly thought that's all we are going to get," says Crain's cousin, Michael Collins.

Hostetler was unexpectedly arrested over the weekend in connection to Crain's death.

He pleaded not guilty in court this morning.

"There was no way he could commit suicide. And I found it impossible for him to be that close down to the river for him just to have fallen in," Collins says.

According to the police report, the arrest came after Hostetler's brother, who lives in Flemingsburg, notified police about the alleged crime.

The report also says Hostetler confessed to pushing Crain on the ground near the boat dock in Munfordville, killing him, and put his body in the Green River, but he did not intend to kill him.

"I'm glad that the family will have peace for themselves and move on," says Brent Supertest employee, Kaye Faulkner.

"It's sad that someone has taken his life, but it's kind of comforting to me anyway, and I hope the family. That he didn't take his own life," says Brent Supertest Store Owner, Mark Brent.

Brent was one of many in Munfordville who never gave up hope in the search for Crain.

His surveillance footage showed Crain heading toward the river on January 26th last year, the day he went missing.

"It's sad, and I feel sorry for the family, I really do that they have to know that someone actually hurt a loved one of there's," says family friend, Krystal Decker.

Hostetler remains in the Hart County jail.

His bond is $50,00.

Hostetler will appear in Hart County District Court on Thursday.


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