Friend of missing woman arrested
Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 3, 2007
CANTON — Authorities on Saturday arrested the boyfriend of a missing nine-month pregnant woman on murder charges and said they recovered a body believed to be hers.
Jessie Davis has been missing for a week from her home, where her 2-year-old son was found alone, his diaper dirty, bedroom furniture toppled and bleach spilled on the floor.
The Stark County Sheriff’s Department said a body was recovered in neighboring Summit County at 3:30 p.m. Saturday. The sheriff’s office did not give a location but said they believed it to be Davis.
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Television news footage taken from helicopters above Cuyahoga Valley National Park showed authorities carrying a body bag on a stretcher and loading it into a white van.
The aerial views also showed investigators riding off-road vehicles to reach an area of the park that is heavily covered with trees and brush.
Roger Riggins, an investigator with the Summit County medical examiner’s office, confirmed a body was found at the edge of the park.
Davis’ boyfriend, Bobby Cutts Jr., 30, is to be arraigned Monday in Canton Municipal Court on two counts of murder, including the unborn child, the sheriff’s department said. Davis was due to deliver a baby girl on July 3.
Cutts has said he had nothing to do with Davis’ disappearance.
Telephone messages seeking comment were left at the office of Cutts’ lawyer, Bradley Iams, and the home and office of the Rev. C.A. Richmond, who is Cutts’ pastor. Iams’ home number is unlisted.
Davis, 26, was reported missing June 15 after her mother found her bedroom in disarray, the furniture overturned and her son, Blake, home alone.
Investigators said the toddler told them ‘‘Mommy was crying. Mommy broke the table. Mommy’s in rug.’’
A bed comforter and Davis’ cell phone were missing. Items from her purse were scattered on the kitchen floor of her home in nearby Lake Township.
Tim Miller, director of Texas EquuSearch, an internationally active search group that organized the volunteer effort, said Porter and the rest of Davis’ family were called together and told about the body in late afternoon.
‘‘A lot of the community stopped their lives to looked for Jessie and that meant so much to her and the entire family that they knew they were not alone in this,’’ he said.
Chief Deputy Rick Perez said the case was still being investigated. He would not comment on whether there were any other suspects.
Cutts, a Canton police officer, is the father of Davis’ son, and her family says he also is the father of the unborn child. Authorities had questioned him and searched his home during the investigation.
Cutts has said he and his wife are separated and that she knew about the affair with Davis.
Cutts has been on paid administrative leave from his job.
‘‘There is no denying that this has resulted in giving a black eye in the opinion of the local community as well as the opinion of the rest of the nation,’’ Canton Police Chief Dean McKimm said of the arrest of a police officer.
He asked that people not judge his department on ‘‘the isolated acts of a rogue officer.’’
Rick Pitinii, Porter’s attorney, said Davis’ family had no comment.
‘‘They have gone through an absolute roller coaster of emotions,’’ he said. ‘‘I’ve seen them laugh, cry, be angry — everything you can imagine. … It’s tough.’’
‘‘They need to be together, and they need to be alone, and they need to grieve.’’
Thousands of volunteers had searched for Davis over several days. Cutts joined volunteers in an earlier search.