* Canton officer to be charged with murder in deaths of both Jessie Davis and her unborn babyn Body of a woman believed to be
* Davis discovered by searchers in a Summit County Metro Park
From wire reports
CANTON — Authorities arrested the boyfriend of a missing pregnant woman on murder charges Saturday and said they recovered a body believed to be hers.
Jessie Davis, 26, has been missing for a week from her home, where her 2-year-old son was found alone, his diaper dirty, bedroom furniture toppled and bleach spilled on the floor.
Davis’ boyfriend, Bobby Cutts Jr., 30, is to be arraigned Monday in Canton Municipal Court on two counts of murder, including the unborn child, the sheriff’s department said. Davis was due to deliver a baby girl on July 3.
Stark County Sheriff Tim Swanson told the Akron Beacon Journal that Cutts confessed to being involved in Davis’ death. Swanson also said a second person was involved in Davis’ death.
Cutts has said he had nothing to do with Davis’ disappearance.
The Stark County Sheriff’s Department said a body believed to be Davis was recovered in neighboring Summit County at 3:30 p.m. Saturday.
Television news footage taken from helicopters above Cuyahoga Valley National Park showed authorities carrying a body bag on a stretcher and loading it into a white van. Investigators were shown riding off-road vehicles to reach an area of the park that is heavily covered with trees and brush.
Roger Riggins, an investigator with the Summit County medical examiner’s office, confirmed a body was found at the southeast edge of the park, about 25 miles from Davis’ home in Lake Township.
Telephone messages seeking comment on the arrest were left at the office of Cutts’ lawyer, Bradley Iams, and the home and office of the Rev. C.A. Richmond, his pastor. Iams’ home number is unlisted.
Davis was reported missing June 15 after her mother, Patricia Porter, found her bedroom in disarray, the furniture overturned and her son, Blake, home alone. A bed comforter and Davis’ cell phone were missing. Items from her purse were scattered on the kitchen floor of her home.
Thousands of volunteers searched on foot, horseback and all-terrain vehicles for Davis over several days. Cutts joined volunteers in an earlier search.
Tim Miller, director of Texas EquuSearch, an internationally active search group that organized searches around her home, said Porter and the rest of Davis’ family were told about the body in late afternoon.
“A lot of the community stopped their lives to look for Jessie, and that meant so much to her and the entire family that they knew they were not alone in this,” Miller said Saturday after the sheriff’s announcement.
Cutts, a Canton police officer since 2000, is the father of Davis’ son, and her family says he also is the father of the unborn child. Authorities had questioned him and searched his home during the investigation.
Cutts has said he and his wife are separated and that she knew about the affair with Davis. He’s been on paid administrative leave from his job.
“There is no denying that this has resulted in giving a black eye in the opinion of the local community as well as the opinion of the rest of the nation,” Canton Police Chief Dean McKimm said of the arrest of a police officer.
The police department had tried to fire Cutts in 2003 when authorities conducting a drug raid on his cousin’s home found Cutts’ handgun hidden under a mattress. Canton police officials said Cutts gave the gun to his cousin for protection and said Cutts was lying when he reported the gun stolen. A federal arbitrator ordered the city to reinstate the officer, saying police had not proved the allegation.
Cutts pleaded no contest to a disorderly conduct charge in 1998 after he was accused of breaking into the home of a former girlfriend.