MOUNT VERNON — “Detectives continue to follow up on all leads, tips and information that they have received,” Knox County Sheriff David Barber said late Tuesday regarding the investigation into the murder of Jean Davis.
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The 54-year-old Davis died of a small caliber gunshot wound to the head Dec. 20 outside her residence on Dennis Church Road near Bladensburg.
Barber said that 10 days into the investigation, it remains unclear whether Davis knew her assailant.
“Most homicides are solved relatively early in the investigation because there is a relationship involved,” he said.
“Most homicides are personal crimes,” he added, explaining that in most homicides, there is a connection between the victim and the perpetrator which reveals itself soon after the crime.
However, in Davis’ case, detectives have not made that determination.
“In this case, that may be true, but there are still a lot of unknowns,” Barber said.
The sheriff said most details of the case remain confidential at this time, to preserve the integrity of the investigation, and to aid in prosecution of the perpetrator(s) when there is ultimately an apprehension.
“We are not going to investigate this in the media,” Barber said.
Davis was shot just outside her back door some time that Sunday morning. Her body was discovered by a friend after she failed to show up for church, as she had stated she planned to do in an e-mail earlier that morning.
Her 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche was taken at the time of the homicide, and recovered the next day in Newark. Barber said detectives had the vehicle transported back to Knox County.
“The truck was returned from Newark to Knox County, where it was processed by [Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation],” he said. “Evidence obtained from the recovered vehicle has been submitted to the laboratory at BCI and I.”
Knox County Coroner Dr. Jennifer Ogle said in an e-mail to the News Tuesday that official autopsy results would be available in six to eight weeks.
“At this point, the investigation is still open as we are awaiting final toxicology, fingernail scrapings and gunshot residue testing,” Ogle said.
Ogle said she did not foresee these test results changing her ruling on the mode and manner of death, but her practice is to hold off on a final ruling until all autopsy results are finalized.
The sheriff also clarified that Davis had not been beaten, but suffered only the gunshot wound to the head.
Barber said detectives would like to speak with anyone who interacted with Davis prior to her death. He said the details which may ultimately solve this homicide may seem small to the person reporting them, but those leads could be the break for which investigators are looking.
“I encourage anyone who has information about Jean Davis or had contact with her prior to her death, or anyone who has information that they feel may be helpful to the investigators, to contact this office,” he said.
The Knox County Sheriff Detective Bureau can be reached by calling 393-6800. Barber said if callers reach the voicemail system after hours, a message can be left.
“We follow up on all of them,” the sheriff said of tips he office receives.