Old School Americana & Nostalgia


‘Sandlot’ Star’s Mother Murdered, ‘Boy Meets World’s Rider Strong Offers Support

‘Sandlot’ Star’s Mother Murdered, ‘Boy Meets World’s Rider Strong Offers Support

Boy Meets World star Rider Strong is supporting Sandlot’s Marty York as York grieves the murder of his mother, Deanna Esmaeel. 

News of the murder broke last week when the Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office posted a nationwide manhunt for Daniel James Walter, Esmaeel’s boyfriend, on its social media pages. According to Facebook, Esmaeel, who was also a deputy with the department, was found dead in her home on Thursday, October 12. Walter is in custody after authorities tracked him to Curry County, Oregon, the following day.

York, who played Alan “Yeah-Yeah” McClennan in Sandlot, shared the horrifying news with fans via Instagram on Friday. He noted that it was the “hardest” post he’ll ever have to write. 

“I found out from the sheriff department last night that my mother was murdered by a man she was seeing,” he wrote alongside a photo of Esmaeel. “The emotions I have are horrible right now between rage, vengeance, crying.”

York also included a photo of Walter’s wanted poster. At the time, he had not been apprehended. 

Boy Meet’s World stars Danielle Fishel and Rider Strong were among the first to offer condolences once the post went public. 

“Marty, this is unreal,” commented Fishel, who played Topanga. “A true nightmare. We love you and I hope justice is served FAST.” 

“Devastating. I’m so sorry, buddy,” added Shawn star, Strong. 

The Sandlot actor worked with Fishel and Strong in 1993, when he starred in three episodes of Boy Meets World as Larry and Costume Kid #1. 

More Stars Share Condolences with ‘Sandlot’ Star

The Secret World of Alex Mack lead Natanya Ross also commented on the post. Ross is one of York’s close friends, according to PEOPLE.

“I love you so much. We’re gonna get through this together,” she promised.

“Oh Marty, I’m so sorry to hear this,” added Jacob Young from General Hospital. “My wife and I are sending prayers and pray that they get this man and prosecute him to the maximum. Love you, brother.”

SF Gate shared that Deanna Esmaeel had been an animal trainer for movie and television productions for most of her life. She decided to change careers and joined law enforcement two years ago.

Walter, who legally changed his name to Edward Patrick Davies in July, is being held in Del Norte County on $1 million bail. Authorities charged Walter with one count of murder. Police will not share more details while they continue to investigate the homicide.