GAMBIER — The Knox County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the shooting death of 54-year-old Jean R. Davis of 24941 Dennis Church Road as the first homicide of 2009.
According to Knox County Sheriff David Barber, Davis’ body was discovered by a friend who was concerned after Davis did not attend church.
“A friend of hers found her after the victim failed to show up for church this morning,” Barber said. “The victim sent an e-mail to her friend that she would see her at church, and when she was not in church, her friend went to check on her and found her outside, unresponsive.”
Just before 11 a.m. the Bladensburg Volunteer Fire Department and Eastern Knox County Joint Fire District responded to the scene, along with Knox County sheriff’s deputies, but Davis was lifeless when they arrived.
“She was found dead just outside the back door of her house,” Barber said.
The sheriff, Knox County Coroner Dr. Jennifer Ogle, KCSO detectives, and investigators from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation responded to the scene to collect evidence and conduct interviews.
“Her body was transported to the Licking County Coroner’s Office, where an autopsy will be conducted,” Barber said.
According to Ogle, an X-ray performed during the autopsy showed the cause of death was a gunshot wound to the head. Final autopsy results are not yet available.
Barber said Davis was killed early Sunday.
“It was sometime this morning because that e-mail was sent this morning,” Barber said Sunday evening.
Barber would not comment on a motive or whether anything was missing from the home where Davis lived alone, except to say deputies are searching for a vehicle belonging to the victim.
“We are looking for a 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche, tan in color, with the license plate number CV93HJ,” Barber said. “It is the victim’s truck and it is missing from the scene.”
Barber advised anyone who sees the missing vehicle to call the sheriff’s office immediately at 397-3333. Detectives would like to speak with anyone who has information regarding the case.
“There are no suspects at this time and it’s too early in the investigation to comment on the manner of death or release any more information,” Barber said Sunday night.
The investigation is being conducted as a joint effort between the KCSO, the Knox County Coroner’s Office and BCI.