- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 24, 2007

CANTON, Ohio — A massive search ended in sadness yesterday when authorities announced they had found a body thought to be a pregnant woman who vanished from her home a week earlier. A police officer believed to be the father of the unborn child was arrested on two counts of murder.

Jessie Davis, 26, who was due to deliver a baby girl on July 3, was reported missing after her mother found Miss Davis’ 2-year-old son home alone, bedroom furniture toppled and bleach spilled on the floor.

The boy gave investigators their first clues. “Mommy was crying. Mommy broke the table. Mommy’s in rug,” the boy said.

Thousands of volunteers searched for Miss Davis for several days while investigators continued to question Bobby Cutts Jr., 30, who is the father of Miss Davis’ son but is married to another woman.

Investigators were mum on many details of their work until they announced that Mr. Cutts was taken into custody yesterday and was to be arraigned on charges of murder in the deaths of Miss Davis and her unborn child.

The Stark County Sheriff’s Department also said a woman’s body was recovered in Summit County at 3:30 p.m. Authorities did not give a location but said they thought it to be Miss Davis.

“Our hearts go out to the family of Jessie Marie Davis,” Chief Deputy Rick Perez said at a press conference announcing the developments.

Television news footage taken from helicopters above Cuyahoga Valley National Park showed investigators riding off-road vehicles to reach an area that is heavily covered with trees and brush. It showed authorities carrying a body bag on a stretcher and loading it into a white van.

Roger Riggins, an investigator with the Summit County medical examiner’s office, confirmed a body was found at the southeast edge of the park, about 25 miles from Miss Davis’ home in Lake Township.

Mr. Cutts said he and his wife are separated and that she knew about his affair with Miss Davis.

Deputy Perez said the case was still being investigated. He would not comment on whether there are any other suspects.

“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 Mr. Cutts‘ arrest.

The police department tried to fire Mr. Cutts in 2003 when authorities conducting a drug raid on his cousin’s home found Mr. Cutts‘ handgun hidden under a mattress.

Canton police officials said Mr. Cutts gave the gun to his cousin for protection and that Mr. Cutts lied when he reported the gun stolen. But a federal arbitrator ordered the city to reinstate the officer, saying police had not proved the charge.

An attorney for Miss Davis’ mother, Patricia Porter, said the family experienced a roller-coaster ride of emotions and had no comment.

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