IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Abandoned baby not that of missing woman

A baby found on an Ohio doorstep does not belong to a missing pregnant woman, a sheriff said Friday.
/ Source: The Associated Press

A baby girl found on an Ohio doorstep does not belong to a missing pregnant woman, the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department said Friday.

The baby was discovered about 45 miles from the home of Jessie Davis, who was nine months pregnant with a girl when she disappeared last week.

A woman admitted leaving the newborn on the doorstep, Wayne County Sheriff Thomas Maurer said.

“This incident is not related to the ongoing investigation by the Stark County Sheriff’s Office in the disappearance of Jessie Davis,” Maurer said in a news release.

Davis, 26, was reported missing one week ago Friday after her mother found the young woman’s bedroom in disarray, the furniture overturned and Davis’ young son home alone.

The 2-year-old boy, who may be the only witness to his mother’s disappearance, told investigators: “Mommy was crying. Mommy broke the table. Mommy’s in rug.”

On Friday, some 250 volunteers lined up for a second day to help search surrounding fields and woods for any sign of Davis. More than 1,800 volunteers had turned up Thursday to scour backyards, vacant fields and a Christmas tree farm.

Some were on horseback, driving golf carts or riding all-terrain vehicles. Those on foot were told to walk three feet apart to ensure they didn't overlook a tire mark, fresh dirt or some other clue to the disappearance of Jessie Davis.

"You just can't go home and assume somebody will take care of it," said Barb Schollaerd, 51, of North Canton. "We look after our own."

Authorities gave no indication that Thursday's search had turned up any evidence, but according to media reports, around noon an FBI evidence crew and investigators were at the site of a patch of freshly dug dirt in a field at the end of a dirt road more than a mile from Davis' home.

A team of volunteers that included members of Jessie Davis' family came upon the patch of dirt, about 6 feet long and 3 feet wide.

Family members who were with the team embraced, and Davis' father stood above the patch of earth, yelling at a photographer to get away.

Authorities at the scene throughout the afternoon would not discuss whether anything had been found.

Baby due July 3
Davis, whose baby is due July 3, was last heard from in a phone call with her mother on June 13. Two days later, her mother checked on her home in nearby Lake Township and found it in shambles, with the furniture overturned, a comforter missing and her 2-year-old grandson wandering around alone.

The little boy told investigators: "Mommy was crying. Mommy broke the table. Mommy's in rug."

Authorities have repeatedly talked with and searched the home of the man who fathered Davis' son, although investigators have said Canton police officer Bobby Cutts Jr. is not a suspect. Cutts, 30, says he had nothing to do with Davis' disappearance. The woman's family says he is also the father of Davis' unborn baby.

"I can't believe how many people are out there. It's amazing," said the missing woman's younger sister, Whitney Davis, who wore a T-shirt with her sister's picture and the word "Missing" in red letters. "I think we're going to find her."

The turnout Thursday made the search the largest of hundreds conducted by the internationally active group Texas EquuSearch. "We've never had that many show up at one time," said EquuSearch director Tim Miller.

The group brought in sonar equipment to check ponds and a remote-control airplane equipped with a camera to look for any sign of Davis.

One volunteer showed up in high heels but gave up 20 minutes later after walking through a wooded area. Another maneuvered on crutches. "I'm here for the whole thing," said Tammy Robinson, 47.

Some volunteers brought their dogs or children. People signing up to help at a fire station formed a line about two football fields long.

Police officer Jamie Mizer led one of 14 groups during the search. She is three months pregnant.

"That's kind of what's motivating me to be out here," she said.

Looking for anything out off the ordinary
Team leaders were told to look for tire tracks and any debris or other things that appeared out of the ordinary. Miller also instructed that if a body was found, the leaders should stay with it and move other searchers away.

"I'm hopeful we can find her alive," he said. "If not, the second best thing we can do is be back here next week for a funeral."

Cadaver dogs were sent to areas where they picked up on some odors, but nothing had been found by midafternoon, Miller said. "A lot of times they'll pick up on something that's not there," he said.

Rewards totaling $15,000 are being offered for information leading to Davis' whereabouts.

In a search of her boyfriend's home Wednesday, sheriff's investigators and FBI agents carried out more than a dozen white cardboard boxes, a few brown bags and three large black plastic bags.

Cutts' mother, Renee Horne, told The (Canton) Repository that agents were looking for Davis' cell phone and a quilt missing from her 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, she said.