Texas tragedy: Missing toddler found dead near home

Update Saturday, March 31:

"It is with extremely heavy hearts that we have to report that little Devon Davis’ body was located Saturday in a lake near his home," reads the message from Texas Equusearch. "Please keep Devon’s families and friends in your prayers during their time of grief."

And so the tragic life of a little boy from Earlysville, Virginia, ends near his new home in Texas. According to a news source quoting the Sheriff’s spokesman for Liberty County, the death “appears accidental.”

News sources indicate that the grim discovery was made after a volunteer launched a camera-equipped, radio-controlled airplane that captured images of red– like the red of the shirt the missing boy was wearing– in the corner of a pond. The body was recovered around 1:50pm.

Update Friday, March 30, 2012:

April Davis, the mother of missing two-year-old Devon Davis, spoke to reporters and pleaded for her son's return on Friday morning, March 30 outside the Liberty County, Texas home where she, her husband Michael Davis, and their two children had been staying since relocating from Earlysville last week.

Searchers had continued searching the wooded, swampy, and alligator-infested area with no sign of the child, who disappeared after his mother reportedly put him and his one-year-old sister down for a nap, then fell asleep herself. According to news reports, an upstairs window was open, and two doors to Davis' Jeep were ajar. The front door, which she reported deadbolting before falling asleep, had also been opened.

According to the Houston Chronicle, FBI agents, using personality profilers, also re-interviewed Davis on Friday.

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Original post:

A two-year-old boy who went missing on Tuesday from his home near an alligator-infested swamp in Liberty County, Texas had lived there only a few days after moving with his parents, April and Michael Davis, from the Charlottesville area last week.

According to reports on the Cleveland Advocate website, Devon Davis, a red-haired, blue-eyed toddler, was reported missing on Tuesday afternoon by his mother, who, according to news accounts, awakened from a brief nap to find the older of her two children, who'd also been napping, missing. She reportedly told police the front door, which had been deadbolted, was found unlocked and her car doors open.

Journalist Scott Jengle with the Montgomery County Police Reporter says that investigators told him the family had just relocated from Earlysville after a friend offered the unemployed Michael Davis, reportedly a former member of Army Airborne, a job as a welder and a place to stay.

An Amber Alert was initiated March 27, with the Texas Rangers and the FBI mobilized to assist the search and investigation. Despite the high-profile help, some searchers in bayou country are not optimistic.

"If I was honest with myself right now, I'd say we're in recovery," said Tim Miller, the founder of a mounted team called Texas EquuSearch.

Miller was quoted in a local TV station's news story suggesting that hopes have dimmed over the prospect that a two-year-old could survive two nights in rough conditions that include heavy underbrush, deep water, and– in addition to the alligators– dangerous wildlife including snakes and wild boars. Searchers aren't, however, giving up hope.

"We're holding onto that miracle," Miller told the Houston NBC-affliate KPRC.

Note: Original headline: 'Texas tragedy: Missing toddler from Central Virginia


My heart goes out to the family. I hope they find the young buck alive.

I cant even began to know how this little angles parents must feel . My heart goes out to these people and that sweet little angel .I will keep them in my prayers .May god be watching over the little one .and bring him home safe.

Apparently the search had ended today according to this website. Miracles do happen I 'm wishing for one now.


The one thing that throws me off is the cryptic "material" under the open second floor window and the jeep doors being ajar. I'm not sure my two year -old could open the doors, and would he? I could see a child opening one and climbing in, but two? The non-denial denial of the officer testing the spots under the window inferred blood to me. Either way....so sad.

nancy drew, this quote is from the link you posted:
"03/29/12 — Attention all Texas EquuSearch Members. We will resume our urgent search for 2 1/2 year old Devin Davis on Friday, March 30, 2012"
doesn't sound quite over....hoping for the best, expecting the worst.

Thanks local, meant to say, search has ended for today and will resume at 7am March 30 . Let's hope for a miracle.

@Devon...The local reports said cops eliminated that he could have gotten out thru second-story window (which makes sense). This is an odd story because of all the "distracting" bits of evidence: open 2d floor window, not one but two open doors on a car, a deadbolt-locked door open by a two-year old (dead bolts are normally not placed low on a door and would require quite a bit of dexterity for an up-reaching toddler, a quote by mom that she was napping because "I was simply exhausted." (odd use of adverb there; most folks say "I was tired."
Not inferring anything, but a tad bit of antannae ascent on this one.

R.I.P.: Erik Braunn

Too many of these same verbatim stories in the media lately where young baby or toddler goes missing while parent is supposedly asleep. Parent wakes up to find a door or window unlocked, and other strange anecdotal evidence that seems to hint at a kidnapping intruder.

The story's been updated and now includes a link to an interview Devon's mother gave this morning to Texas reporters.--Courteney Stuart

Sources in the investigation said mom failed portions of the lie detector test. Add this to the fact that they moved in with a friend of the father's whom they met when he was in Iraq in the Army--and the friend offered the unemployed Michael Davis a welding job and room-board at his house in Houston--so much stinky smell on this one. Plus all the funky forensics at the house...I may be wrong, but the old follicles on the back of me neck be starting to stand up.

R.I.P.: Fat Jo Jo Georganni

You're right Liberalace, that's sure some suspicious grammar and what's up with this working for a friend? Let's get us some rope pronto. We know how to handle folk like that!

Thanks Saywha. You are an example of the problems inherent in a "too much information" society. Like the Martin case in Florida, people take the information and run with their feelings immediately. Your knee-jerk "let's get us some rope" comment illustrates that, inferring your feeling that I am convicting someone on this already. I forgot to add that, three days after the boy's disappearance, LE felt compelled to state: "We have not ruled out foul play."

I am sorry I did not jump on the let-me-make-myself-feel-good "My prayers go out to the Davis family" bandwagon, but I think it goes without saying that I too want a positive outcome to this. However, when facts released to the public (which is all we have to deal with on pure opinion threads like this one) smell, they smell. As old man Fox said to Bud in "Wall Street": "Son, I hope I'm wrong about this one."

Sorry for being so non-PC in our World Class City!

R.I.P.: Stu Nahan

Two days in a used house. Maybe several people had old keys to the deadbolt.

A crook may not close the car door because even a gentle close to a car door is a very penetrating sound, and may wake people up. Try it and see.

History shows that a great number of these cases end badly and with family involvement. I hope that's not the case and whether or not it is, my thoughts are with the family. You can be jaded and hopeful at the same time.

The boy was found deceased in a pond near their house late this afternoon. News reports said "no reports of visible trauma on the body but investigators are calling it a 'criminal investigation.'" Sad, sad ending.

R.I.P.: Michael Hassock

Story updated with sad news of the discovery of the boy's body.--hawes spencer

Sad News. Sometimes I wonder how any of us or our kids get through childhood.

Nothing tragic about the childś life though. Just his death.