SALISBURY — The community’s worst fears were realized this week when the remains of a popular Parkside High teacher were found in a rural area of Somerset County last Sunday, the victim of a homicide caused by blunt force trauma to the head.
Just before 5 p.m. last Sunday, Maryland State Police troopers responded to a rural, wooded area of Loretto Rd. in Princess Anne in response to a body that had been found. The wooded area where the body was found is located behind a church and members of the congregation had been back in the woods last Sunday afternoon and unexpectedly found the body.
On Monday, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore determined the identity of the remains as Alice Elizabeth Davis, 56, who had been reported missing from her Fruitland home since Sept. 5. By Wednesday, the state medical examiner ruled the cause of the victim’s death was blunt force trauma to the back of the head. The item used to inflict the trauma had not been recovered as of late yesterday, although the medical examiner’s office ruled Davis’ death a homicide.
On Sunday, Davis was reported missing by her husband, Jesse Davis, 58, who told police Alice Davis had gone shopping at Wal-Mart. Police later found Alice Davis’ blue Honda Fit hatchback in a parking lot adjacent to the Fruitland Wal-Mart and recovered her purse and cell phone, but she was nowhere to be found.
Wicomico Bureau of Investigations (WBI) detectives questioned Jesse Davis in the days following her disappearance and each time his story was a little different. According to police reports, there were gaps in Jesse Davis’ memory about his wife’s disappearance and the discovery of her vehicle and personal belongings in a parking lot in Fruitland.
However, just as Jesse Davis was emerging as the main suspect in his wife’s disappearance, he was discovered dead in the couple’s Fruitland home. On September 7, the Wicomico Sheriff’s Office held a press conference announcing foul play was suspected in Alice Davis’ disappearance, and while Sheriff Mike Lewis stopped short of naming Jesse Davis as the suspect, it became apparent he had become more than just a person of interest.
A few hours later last Wednesday, WBI detectives returned to the Davis home, presumably for more questioning, and discovered evidence something was amiss. After securing the residence, police found Jesse Davis dead in the living room with self-inflicted lacerations to his left arm, the victim of an apparent suicide.