Tuesday, May 22, 2018
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Police & Fire

Investigators in woman's disappearance search home of Canton police officer

CANTON, Ohio -- For the second time in three days, investigators searched the home of a Canton police officer who fathered the son and unborn daughter of a woman who went missing, leaving the 2-year-old boy home alone.

Sheriff's deputies blocked off about a 100-yard stretch of the street in front of Bobby Cutts Jr.'s house as FBI agents and deputies carried more than a dozen white cardboard boxes, a few brown bags and three large black plastic bags out of the home and loaded them into a truck.

Cutts' mother, Renee Horne, told The Repository that agents served a search warrant and were looking for a quilt from the home of Jessie Davis, who was last heard from on June 13. Horne said investigators also were looking for the woman's cell phone.

Two-year-old Blake Davis told investigators: "Mommy was crying. Mommy broke the table. Mommy's in rug." Investigators believe he may have been referring to a comforter missing from the home.

Horne said FBI agents questioned her son twice Wednesday, and read him his Miranda rights during the second interview. Investigators also took Cutts' two cell phones, Horne said.

Investigators have said they have no suspects and that Cutts has cooperated.

Also Wednesday, a volunteer search group announced that the sheriff's department and FBI have agreed to allow them to look for the 26-year-old Davis beginning Thursday morning in the area around her home in rural Lake Township.

At Cutts' home Wednesday evening, neighbors sat on their lawns and gathered in the street, watching as a dozen FBI agents and sheriff's deputies spent more than three hours in the search. Upon their departure several people, who appeared to be friends or family members, entered the home.

Reporters approached the house after authorities left and a man who identified himself as Cutts' father opened the door and told reporters to get off the property.

Three private property, no trespassing signs were posted in the front yard and a woman shouted from an upstairs window to reporters who lingered on the lawn that she planned to call police.

Cutts, 30, told The Repository he had nothing to do with Davis' disappearance and that he has slept little and had no appetite since she vanished.

"The last five days have been a nightmare. It won't end," Cutts told the newspaper on Tuesday.

While law enforcement hadn't announced any further searches, a volunteer group, Texas EquuSearch, planned to use community helpers, sonar equipment and a 2 -pound drone airplane equipped with a camera in the nose to search Thursday for Davis.

"We're holding onto that hope that maybe she's still alive out there and that would be the greatest thing in the world, but realistically we know after a period of time that that normally doesn't happen," said Tim Miller, the group's director.

Davis, due to deliver July 3, hasn't been heard from since a phone call with her mother Patricia Porter. She was reported missing Friday when Porter found her grandson, his diaper dirty, alone at Davis' house, some furniture askew. A pool of bleach was on the bedroom floor, and the contents of Davis' purse were scatted in the kitchen. Along with the comforter, her cell phone was missing.

On its Web site, the FBI lists the case as a kidnapping. But FBI spokesman Scott Wilson in Cleveland said the label is standard whenever foul play is a possibility, and the agency doesn't know if Davis was abducted or not.

The FBI is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to Davis' whereabouts. EquuSearch added a $5,000 reward.

A legal order allowed investigators to get some of Davis' cell phone records, which are being reviewed, Stark County sheriff's Chief Deputy Rick Perez said at a news conference Wednesday.

Authorities also said Wednesday that DNA tests would not be finished until next week on a newborn baby girl left on a porch about 45 miles away from Davis' home. Authorities are trying to determine if the infant, less than 24 hours old when it was found Monday evening in Wooster, is related to Davis. A bottle and can of formula left in the basket with the newborn were sent for testing for fingerprints or any other evidence.

Cutts, who also has two children with his wife, Kelly, said he and his wife are separated but have not filed for divorce and that she knew he had a relationship with Davis.

He said he last spoke with Davis at 8 p.m. on June 13, about 90 minutes before she last spoke with her mother.

Miller and Texas EquuSearch asked volunteers to gather near a church by Davis' home at 8:30 a.m. Thursday.

"We're probably looking at somewhat of a miracle in this case. We also know if that person is deceased out there it's very important we find them as quickly as we can find them so they can determine cause of death," said Miller, who has worked on hundreds of missing persons cases, including the disappearance of 18-year-old Natalee Holloway of Alabama, reported missing in Aruba in 2005.

Davis's younger sister, Whitney Davis, said EquuSearch's involvement comes as a relief to their family.

"They're going to help us find Jessie, hopefully, bring her back safe," she said.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com

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