Police: Abandoned Baby Isn't That of Missing Pregnant Mom Jessie Davis
UNIONTOWN, Ohio – A newborn infant girl left on a doorstep is not the baby missing mom Jessie Davis is expecting, Stark County police told FOX News on Friday.
The mother of the abandoned baby — left when she was 1 day old in a wicker basket on the porch of a school nurse who lived about 45 miles away from Davis' home — has been located, Stark County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Rick Perez told FOX.
That outrules a match between the little girl and the missing woman, who is pregnant with a girl she planned to name Chloe. Authorities had been awaiting the results of DNA tests conducted on the newborn.
Wayne County Sheriff Thomas Maurer said a woman admitted leaving the newborn at the home. He said she concealed her pregnancy from her family and gave birth while at a hotel in neighboring Richland County.
"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.
Perez and other Canton officials confirmed in Friday's news conference that the baby was no longer a part of their investigation, reiterated that police were "looking at all angles" and declined to divulge any new developments in the case.
Davis' sister Whitney said she was relieved to learn the baby didn't belong to her sister.
Earlier Friday, Whitney Davis said she's "two steps away from crazy" and has become so mad in the days since Jessie vanished that she can't shed any more tears.
"I’ve gotten to the point I can’t even cry anymore, because now I’m angry," Whitney Davis told reporters Friday morning. "But Jessie doesn’t want that."
She said her family is too distraught to join the search for her sister, out of fear of what they might find.
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They have no clues as to who would want to hurt Davis, but "we are hoping for the best right now," Whitney Davis said.
"It’s very difficult, but the emotions are just a rollercoaster, you’re sad, you’re angry ... you just get so frustrated," she said. "You don’t understand why somebody would take your sister … How anybody could inflict that kind of pain on so many people — it’s beyond me."
Davis' mother told a television morning show that she has suspicions about what happened to her daughter and considers the baby's father a suspect.
But Patricia Porter said her focus remains on bringing her daughter home.
"We're not stopping. Whoever did this, don't think we're going to go back home and shut the door, because we're not," a choked up Patricia Porter told ABC's "Good Morning America."
"We are going to find my daughter."
Porter had reported 26-year-old Jessie Davis missing one week ago after finding the young woman's home in shambles, the furniture overturned and Davis' young son home alone. The 2-year-old boy, Blake, who may be the only witness to his mother's disappearance, told investigators: "Mommy was crying. Mommy broke the table. Mommy's in rug."
When Porter was asked Friday by NBC's "Today" show if she considered the father of Davis' 2-year-old son and unborn baby a suspect, she replied: "Yes, he's a suspect."
"I still pray that it's not him," she said. "That doesn't mean that I don't think he's a suspect, as well."
Authorities have talked with and searched the home of Canton police officer Bobby Cutts Jr., the father of Davis' son, although investigators have repeatedly said Cutts is not a suspect.
Cutts, 30, says he had nothing to do with Davis' disappearance. The woman's family says he is the father of both 2-year-old Blake and of Davis' unborn baby.
Whitney Davis said her family is not asking Blake any questions right now. Officials had advised them not to.
"We don’t want to give him any ideas about what to say. When he wants to speak, that’s fine, we’re not asking any questions," Whitney Davis said.
The Davis family attorney told FOX News on Friday that the missing woman's family has had no contact with Cutts since she disappeared last week. He declined to say whether that was a change from their normal communication.
On Friday, at least 700 volunteers searched for a second day for any sign of Davis, whose due date is July 3. People wearing backpacks and work gloves packed buses sent to fields and wooded areas.
Tim Miller, who is heading up the Texas-based EquuSearch team looking for Jessie Davis, said Friday his group is finishing up scouring areas they couldn't get to Thursday because of rain.
"We know where Jessie’s not at so now we just have to get to the right area," Miller said.
More than 1,800 volunteers turned up Thursday to scour backyards, vacant fields and a Christmas tree farm.
Search dogs hit on one area of freshly dug dirt Thursday more than a mile from her home in nearby Lake Township, but it turned out to be a marijuana plot, Stark County sheriff's Capt. Gary Shankle said.
"It's very frustrating, but we just can't leave any stone unturned," he said.
Scott Wheeler, 39, of East Canton, volunteered to search Friday for 2 1/2 hours before work. He brought a flashlight and insect repellant, and organizers cautioned searchers to be ready for rough terrain, saying shorts and sandals would not be sufficient.
Some searchers had chest-high walking sticks and golf clubs to check the underbrush.
Porter said Friday that Davis' young son, Blake, was keeping everyone motivated and displaying so many characteristics of his mother, whom she described as her best friend, a woman without enemies who "always had a big smile on her face."
Blake "has periods where he just lays his head down on the couch and has this horrible look of sadness, and then the next moment he'll have this big, beautiful smile. He really is what keeps us going," she told ABC.
Volunteers searched the area around Davis' home for about 4 1/2 hours Thursday until they were stopped by heavy rain. Groups of 80 to 100 searchers covered a total area of about eight square miles, Miller of EquuSearch said.
"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."
During the massive search Thursday, police officer Jamie Mizer led one of 14 groups while three months pregnant.
"That's kind of what's motivating me to be out here," she said.
One woman wore 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.
Others prayed for Davis' safe return at a nondenominational evangelical church Davis' mother attends.
At Davis' home, several bouquets of flowers had been left outside.
On 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 during a search of Cutts' home.
His mother, Renee Horne, told The (Canton) Repository that agents were looking for Davis' cell phone and a quilt missing from her home. She said FBI agents questioned her son twice Wednesday, and read him his Miranda rights during the second interview.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.