Boyfriend charged with two counts of murder: one for her, one for her unborn daughter Choe.
Eight days of worrying and waiting for the family of Jessie Marie Davis came
to a heart-breaking end Saturday afternoon when investigators found what
they believe to be her buried remains at a park in Summit County, Ohio.
Two murder charges have been filed against Canton police officer Bobby L.
Cutts Jr., one for allegedly killing Davis and the other for the death of
her unborn daughter, Chloe. Members of Davis’ family contend Cutts fathered
the baby, due July 3.
Cutts reportedly contacted Stark County sheriff’s deputies early Saturday
afternoon. Investigators then found the body in the Hampton Hills Metro Park
in Akron and notified Davis’ family of the discovery about 3:30 p.m.
The remains were in a shallow grave in the park on the southern edge of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. It was found in a clearing of a heavily wounded area.
Investigators will not say if they believe anyone helped Cutts in the crime.
But Saturday night sheriff’s deputies searched a Canton woman’s residence,
seeking clues and seizing DNA evidence, clothing, bedding and cleaning
Davis’ family members, who have been visible throughout the week pleading
for help finding Davis, left the sheriff’s department before a 6 p.m. news
conference when authorities officially announced the discovery and arrest.
“They’re grieving in private,” Canton lawyer Rick Pitinii, who has served as
the family spokesman, told a packed meeting room.
“Please leave them alone a little bit,” Pitinii said. “They have gone
through an absolute roller coaster of emotions.”
Canton Police Chief Dan McKimm acknowledged the incident as a “black eye”
for the city’s police department. McKimm said he hoped the public would “not
be so quick to judge the entire police force on the isolated acts of a rogue
Cutts is scheduled for arraignment at 3 p.m. Monday in Canton Municipal
The case remains under investigation, Chief Deputy Rick Perez and Stark
County Prosecutor John Ferrero said during the news conference. More than
once, Perez referenced the continuing investigation as the reason he
couldn’t answer questions from reporters.
That included refusing to identify the park where Davis’ remains were found.
Perez also would not say specifically if an unborn child was found.
“I am not going to tell you anything about the investigation or how we did
the investigation,” Perez told reporters. Details will come out when the
case goes to trial, he said.
Ferrero added: “There’s a lot of things that people want to know that we
just can’t release at this time.”
Davis’ story became a national media event after her mother, Patty Porter,
found her missing June 15. Porter had not talked with her daughter since
9:30 p.m. June 13, and went to her Lake Township duplex to find her.
Instead, Davis found her 2-year-old grandson, Blake, at home alone wearing a
dirty diaper. He began repeating phrases, “Mommy was crying,” “Mommy broke
the table,” and “Mommy in rug.”
Porter called sheriff’s deputies for help. The department issued a missing
person’s report on Davis about 2:30 p.m. June 15, calling her
disappearance “suspicious” and noting that she was nine months pregnant.
Family and friends began issuing fliers and searching Davis’ neighborhood
the next day, then began a broader search June 17.
Investigators, meanwhile, began talking with Davis’ friends to try to find
out what had happened.
Cutts -- the father of Blake and a boyfriend to Davis -- was one of the first
people contacted and was questioned on the 15th.
His house in Plain Township was searched repeatedly
over the last week. Members of the FBI Evidence Response Team searched a car
at the house Monday. Deputies and more than a dozen FBI agents returned to
the house Wednesday, spent more than four hours searching and left with
hundreds of pieces of evidence.
Throughout the week, Perez refused to label Cutts as a “suspect” in Davis’
In an interview with The Canton Repository on Tuesday, Cutts admitted he would be
naive not to expect investigators to consider him as a suspect. But he also
maintained that he wasn’t involved in Davis’ disappearance and didn’t know
where she was.
As the search for Davis dragged on, family members contacted Texas
EquuSearch, a Houston-based search-and-rescue operation that works with
volunteers to find missing people. More than 1,800 people turned out
Thursday to help with the search, and hundreds more came Friday and
But even as searchers continued to comb fields and woods in Lake Township on
Saturday, word came of the discovery in Summit County.
Tim Miller, founder of Texas EquuSearch, said he heard the news just before
4 p.m., and helped family members at the Greensburg Fire Department
discreetly leave and head for the sheriff’s department.
“It’s not the news we wanted to hear,” Miller said after the news
Miller started Texas EquuSearch after his own daughter disappeared and was
found dead 18 months later. He knows the pain the Davis family is
experiencing and the questions they are battling.
“There will never be an answer to any of these 'why’s’ that will satisfy
them,” Miller said.
Pitinii said the Davis family is thankful for the support and concern shown
by the public and volunteers who helped in the search.
“I think this whole process has been about finding (Jessie),” Pitinii said.
When a reporter asked what people now could do for the family, Pitinii
replied: “I think they would ask for your continued support and prayers.”
Canton Repository staff writers Joe Gartrell, Jonas Fortune, Todd Porter, Melissa
Griffy-Seeton and Bob Russ contributed to this report.
Reach Canton Repository writer Edd Pritchard at (330) 580-8484 or e-mail: