Cold Case Wiki
Daniela in 1979
Portrayed by Onahoua Rodriguez
Episode Daniela
Status Deceased (1979)

Daniela is the titular character from "Daniela". In 1979, she was a beggar who asked for "bus fare" at the old bus depot. Her only friend was a prostitute named Marquette. Daniela often gets mistaken for a prostitute herself.

In March 1979, Daniela was asked by two high school boys, John and Chris, to participate in their amateur movie. John got violent and threatened Daniela with a gun. She beat him up and kicked him out. Chris came back to apologize to Daniela and they fell in love, talking about the places they wanted to see around the world.

The night Chris was supposed to take Daniela to the prom, his transphobic Pops found out about them and forced Chris to reject Daniela for being trans. She was heartbroken and threw the rose corsage Chris gave her away, calling it "trash". Daniela committed suicide out of despair with John's gun just before Chris came back for her later that night. He buried Daniela beside a river and threw away her bloody clothes and corsage in a garbage bag. The bag was found but with no body to connect it to, the case went cold instantly. John Stillman knew of the "garbage bag full of rose petals" but even he was stumped.

In 2004, John's long-suffering wife Kaitlyn went to the cold case team and turned in what she believed to be a snuff film of her husband and Chris murdering a girl who turned out to be Daniela. John straightened everything out by showing the other half of the film with Daniela alive. The police did a welfare check at her place but found a giant blood splatter, indicating foul play. Her ex-landlord Lester Hughes said that she was seeing some guy named Edwin. Marquette (who is no longer a prostitute) confirmed that the guy's name is Edwin Castillo but Daniela was not seeing him but some boy who drove a red Camaro. Nick Vera traced the 1979 red Camaro registrations and found that Chris owned one. He admitted that they fell in love and saw each other for two months. The cold case team tracked down Edwin's mother Esther Castillo in New Jersey, and questioned her about his involvement in Daniela's disappearance. She surprised everyone by revealing that Edwin and Daniela are the same person.

Daniela had ran away due to her mother's inability to wrap her head around the idea that he identified himself as a girl. Chris admitted to knowing about Daniela and that he wanted to take her to prom. The team tracked down Chris and John's other friend Cassie, who told them that Chris' father beat him up the night of prom. Pops admitted to knowing his son was in love with a trans girl and forced him to renounce her. Lilly Rush and Scotty Valens are convinced that Chris is the killer and confronted him before he went to work. He instead told them that Daniela killed herself and he was too late to stop her.

After the case was solved, Esther accepted that Daniela is gone and Lilly signed Daniela's name onto her case box. Chris showed the police where Daniela was buried. He then went to the roof of Daniela's place where they first had sex. There he imagined sharing the dance with her they wanted to at prom.