Teen who mysteriously vanished turns up in the woods — and is charged with murder
A 16-year-old Washington boy who mysteriously vanished for more than a day has now been charged, along with a friend, with the murder of his mother’s former boyfriend.
An extensive search for Gabriel Davies was launched Wednesday, Aug. 31, after he failed to show up for football practice that afternoon at Olympia High School. His pickup truck was found 12 miles to the south, in a wooded area near the community of Tenino; it had what appeared to be blood inside, and the boy’s phone was smashed nearby.
Late Thursday night, Davies was “located safe” in the area where the truck was found, the Thurston County sheriff’s office said, adding there would be no “additional comments regarding this incident.”
Two days later, the sheriff’s office in neighboring Pierce County revealed a twist to the story:
On Thursday morning, deputies doing a welfare check on a 51-year-old man who had missed work for four days found him dead in his home in Orting. He had been shot and stabbed.
Investigators learned that the man — identified in court records only as D.M. — had dated Gabriel Davies’ mother.
The sheriff’s announcement said: “Friday night our detectives had enough evidence for probable cause to arrest two suspects in this case. Just after 8 p.m. both of our suspects, two 16-year-old males, were taken into custody.”
The second suspect was identified as Justin Yoon, a friend of Davies’.
Investigators said D.M. is thought to have been killed on Aug. 28, a Sunday. On that weekend, according to a prosecutor’s affidavit filed Tuesday, Davies and Yoon were camping with a group at Panther Lake, a 65-mile drive from Orting. Their companions said the boys left the cabin at 12:01 a.m. on that Sunday and returned at 6:30 a.m.
According to Pierce County sheriff’s detectives, surveillance video from D.M.’s home shows two “skinny young males” in the backyard at 1:59 that morning. They are seen entering the home through the doggy door.
At 2:47 a.m., the victim’s German shepherd bolts out of the doggy door and a minute later the two people exit through a side door. For five minutes, they go between the home and the detached garage, and then leave at 2:52 a.m.
Seattle TV station KIRO reported that both suspects’ fathers called the Thurston County sheriff’s detectives to say that Davies was “involved” with the death.
The account given by Davies’ father said his son had been threatened by D.M.’s “biker buddies” who wanted the boy to steal something from the garage of the Orting home, about an hour’s drive from Olympia. The father gave a timeline in which the killing occurred not on Aug. 28 but on Aug. 31, the day the teen went missing.
He said Davies and Yoon went to the home together that day and entered through the doggy door — and when the victim came home, Yoon stabbed him. Davies did not witness the shooting, but heard two shots, the father said.
Davies left without taking anything from the home and began to drive back to Olympia, taking a less direct route, according to the father’s account. When he was near Tenino, the “bikers” caught up with him, pulled him from the truck and “roughed him up” before taking his shoes and leaving him in a wooded area.
The charging affidavit says Thurston County sheriff’s detectives noted that when Davies was found, he had no injuries indicating he had been walking barefoot through the woods for hours, as he claimed. “Davies initially told a detective that he could not remember what had happened to him, or where he had been during his disappearance,” the affidavit says. “He later said he could not say what had happened to him because people were going to hurt him.”
During the search for Davies, the sheriff’s office said he had been seen walking by himself near the abandoned pickup truck around 5:30 p.m. the day he went missing.
He admitted smashing his own phone because he was afraid of what police would find on it, investigators said.
Davies and Yoon were charged Tuesday with second-degree murder, first-degree burglary and unlawful possession of a firearm. They were ordered held on $1 million bail each and will be tried as adults.
KIRO reported that GoFundMe deactivated an account set up to raise money for Davies’ defense, saying it violated unspecified terms of service. When it was taken down on Sunday, two days after Davies’ arrest, it had raised about $21,000.Related Articles
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Zach Wilson likely won’t be available until at least Week 4 vs. Steelers, Robert Saleh reveals
The Jets are rolling with veteran Joe Flacco to start the season. And for more than just the season opener against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.
Head coach Robert Saleh revealed Wednesday morning that Zach Wilson just wasn’t ready to get back on the field after preseason knee surgery and said the earliest the second-year quarterback will likely start is Week 4 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Saleh said he wanted to make sure Wilson is 100% before putting him out there. He said it wasn’t worth the risk with his young QB.
He did say that Wilson has not suffered any setbacks and that ideally he would have a complete week of practice before starting.
Developing story, check back for details.
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Jets QB Joe Flacco will start vs. Ravens, setting up unlikely Week 1 reunion
Former Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco will start for the New York Jets in their Week 1 matchup against Baltimore, Jets coach Robert Saleh announced Wednesday.
Zach Wilson, who underwent arthroscopic injury last month after suffering a bone bruise and meniscus tear in his knee, was ruled out of Sunday’s game. Flacco has led the Jets’ first-team offense since Wilson, the team’s No. 2 overall pick in last year’s draft, went down in their Aug. 12 preseason opener.
“We’re rolling with Joe,” Saleh said.
Sunday’s game at MetLife Stadium will mark the Ravens’ first against Flacco, who led the team to a Super Bowl XLVII title and set franchise records for passing yards, touchdowns and interceptions in his 11 years as a starter in Baltimore. He was traded after the 2018 season, having lost his starting job to then-rookie Lamar Jackson.
Flacco, 37, struggled in his lone preseason appearance last month, going 7-for-12 for 76 yards and throwing an interception that the New York Giants returned for a touchdown. But he impressed teammates and coaches during training camp with his command of the offense and passing ability.
“We’ll prepare,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said last month of facing Flacco, whom the team drafted No. 18 overall in 2008, his first season in Baltimore. “We’ll prepare for the Jets. We’ll prepare for all the quarterbacks. Obviously, we have great respect for all their guys, but Joe we know, and he’s a Raven. Once a Raven, always a Raven. So we’ve got a lot of respect for Joe. … But at this point in time, we’re preparing for the players on the Jets and the schemes and the things that they do, and that will be part of it.”
Flacco, who started for the Jets in a Week 11 loss to the Miami Dolphins last season while Wilson recovered from another knee injury, re-signed with the team this offseason. In his three seasons since leaving Baltimore, he’s also played for the Denver Broncos (2019) and Philadelphia Eagles (2021). He first signed with the Jets in 2020, when he signed a one-year deal to back up then-starter Sam Darnold.
This story will be updated.
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The biggest storylines and predictions for the Jets’ 2022 season
The Jets are just days away from kicking off their 2022 season against the Baltimore Ravens at MetLife Stadium on Sept. 11.
While the Jets went 3-0 during the preseason, many questions remain. Will coach Robert Saleh improve from his 4-13 record a year ago? What about the growth of quarterback Zach Wilson?
If the Jets are to snap their 11-season playoff drought — the longest in the NFL — they will need to answer these questions, along with a few others.WHAT DO THEY HAVE IN ZACH?
The quarterback is the most critical position in football and on the Jets’ roster. Wilson had a pedestrian rookie campaign where he passed for 2,334 yards, nine touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
Gang Green needs to see growth from Wilson in Year 2 if the team is going to take that next step from one of the worst teams in football to possibly a playoff team. Too often last season, Wilson felt like he had to carry the team on his back, resulting in interceptions and staring down receivers.
If Wilson can cut down on the interceptions and rely more on the players around him, the Jets could improve in the AFC East standings as soon as this year. If not, the Jets may have to assess where Wilson is and determine if they need to select a quarterback in next April’s draft.HOW MUCH WILL THE D IMPROVE?
The Jets’ defense can’t get any worse than it was in 2021. Really it can’t, as Gang Green finished dead last in yards allowed (397.6 per game) and points allowed (29.6).
To help improve the defense, the Jets signed cornerback D.J. Reed, safety Jordan Whitehead and drafted cornerback Sauce Gardner and pass rusher Jermaine Johnson in the first round. The Jets don’t have to become the 2000 Baltimore Ravens, who won a Super Bowl with their stellar defense, to have success this year. However, they will need to at least become an average defense if the Jets are going to turn things around.DUANE AND THE O-LINE
The Jets signed Duane Brown on Aug. 15 after the season-ending knee injury to Mekhi Becton. On paper, Gang Green should be a better unit with veteran Brown at left tackle, George Fant at right tackle and the addition of Laken Tomlinson at left guard to go alongside guard Alijah Vera-Tucker and center Connor McGovern.
But the five players haven’t had a lot of practice time together leading up to the season because it took Brown a few weeks to get acclimated to training camp and live football action after signing late. Also, Fant moved to right tackle after he began training camp as the team’s left tackle.OFFENSIVE MVP: WR ELIJAH MOORE
Choosing a player who recorded 43 receptions for 538 yards and five touchdowns last season to be the Jets’ offensive MVP might be surprising to some. However, after an impressive training camp, it seems Moore is ready to take the step and possibly become Gang Green’s best offensive player.
He has everything you want in a receiver, minus his size (listed at 5-10). Moore is a precision route runner who can separate from defenders.
Quarterback Joe Flacco compared Moore to former Carolina Panthers and Baltimore Ravens receiver Steve Smith. If Moore is anything like the future Hall of Famer in his second year, 75 receptions for 1,200 yards and 10 TDs in 2022 could be in the cards.DEFENSIVE MVP: DE CARL LAWSON
Lawson was supposed to be the Jets’ big free agent splash in 2021, but he tore his Achilles and missed the entire season. A year later, Lawson could be poised to not only be a candidate for the NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award but the Jets’ defensive MVP.
Throughout training camp, Lawson was unstoppable, no matter if he was going against the Jets offensive line or the Atlanta Falcons and the Giants during joint practices. The most sacks Lawson has registered in a season is 8.5 during his rookie year with the Bengals. He could potentially reach double-digits for the first time in his career.SEASON PREDICTION
The Jets have improved on both sides of the ball and went out and got Wilson more toys offensively than he had a season ago. But a brutal early schedule and questions with Wilson and the team’s defense will likely prevent them from being a playoff team in 2022.
The Jets begin their season against the entire AFC North and then they play the Dolphins, Packers and Broncos. If the Jets can come out of that stretch 4-3 or 3-4, then maybe playoffs could be in the cards for Saleh’s team.
Right now, it seems the Jets are a year away from contending in a loaded AFC. But Saleh and general manager Joe Douglas appear to have the team headed in the right direction.
Prediction: 7-10 (tied for third place in the AFC East)
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Los Gatos council pushes forward on equity, diversity plan
Los Gatos staff will start work on a tangible plan to bolster the town’s efforts to become more welcoming and inclusive following a series of racially motivated events.
Town council voted unanimously Tuesday to develop a Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) plan that sets goals and lays out changes for the town to be more inclusive.
This effort comes after council was verbally attacked by a far right group that made racist and homophobic statements during council meetings, and after anti-Semitic graffiti was found at the Addison-Penzak Jewish Community Center in Los Gatos during the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur.
The town voted last summer to pay two consultant groups, American Leadership Forum Silicon Valley Insights (ALFI) and ReadySet, to develop the JEDI report, which audited the town’s current policies and procedures and surveyed residents.
“In the past year and a half, with racial justice issues at the forefront of national and local conversations, the town has taken a more holistic approach to JEDI work,” an August 2021 staff report read.
From there, the groups pinpointed key changes the town should consider, like developing more affordable housing, engaging with youth groups and creating ongoing engagement and safe spaces, working with school districts and youth and building more affordable housing.
Now, ALFI and town staff will develop a plan with specific short- and long-term goals, action items, metrics and timelines for the town to make the suggested changes. The plan will also create town definitions for inclusivity, belonging and other terms.
“I think we might accomplish more together if we have a common sense of where we’re going, and that’s really the fundamental reason for the recommendation,” town manager Laurel Prevetti said. “So that way we can make ourselves accountable on these efforts, work with the community to define what do we mean by diversity, equity, inclusion in Los Gatos, and how we get there.”
The staff report showed residents were supportive of developing the plan and wanted Los Gatos to be an “inclusive town.”
Kylie Clark, who serves on the planning commission, said developing affordable housing was an important element in equity in Los Gatos.
“Above all, housing was the No. 1 need when it comes to genuinely making our town more inclusive, welcoming and diverse,” Clark said. “It is futile to plan to embrace other cultures, races and income levels if they are not able to live in Los Gatos.”
Council members were in agreement that having a plan with action items would have the most impact in the community.
“I really think for this effort to have impact and value on the community is to be less about raising awareness and more about achievable actions,” Councilmember Matthew Hudes said.
Town staff will work with ALFI to develop the plan and present it to town council for a vote.
“The town has shown that not only do we talk the talk, but we walk the walk,” Councilmember Marico Sayoc said. “I look forward to a plan that really makes a lot of these discussion points tangible.”
Palo Alto: Nearly 4,500 people without power downtown
PALO ALTO — Nearly 4,500 residents were without power downtown Wednesday morning, according to the city’s municipal utility, a day after scorching heat forced a power outage for hundreds.
The outage was reported at about 7:30 a.m. Wednesday morning and officials don’t know the cause of the outage or when power will be restored to people. The city’s outage map shows 4,462 customers were without power in the city’s south side.
The power outage comes just hours after Palo Alto and Alameda, both of which have their own municipal utilities, were hit with rolling outages Tuesday night.
The cities were directed by the California Independent Systems Operator to reduce their electrical load. Power was shut off to 1,700 customers in Palo Alto and an unspecified number of customers in Alameda.
Officials are asking residents not to call 911 about power outages and are asking Palo Altans to check for updates via the utlity’s Twitter account.
Old San Jose motel may be replaced after real estate deal by busy investor
SAN JOSE — The purchase by a busy real estate investor of an old motel property in San Jose could lead to new activities for the chunk of land that the site occupies.
A group of buyers headed up by Do Van Tron, a San Jose-based business and real estate executive, has bought a property at 2724 Monterey Road in San Jose, according to documents filed on Sept. 1 with the Santa Clara County Recorder’s Office.
On Sept. 2, Tron completed the purchase of the old Sears store next to Eastridge Center shopping mall in San Jose, disclosing that he intends to transform the former department store into an indoor Vietnamese market.
Tron, acting through his affiliated real estate investment firm, Intelli, paid $24.8 million for a site that includes the old Sears department store, Sears auto service center and a large surface parking lot, according to county property documents.
In the motel purchase, Tron’s investment group paid $6.4 million for a 2.4-acre site near the corner of Monterey Road and Umbarger Road, county records show. Tron also obtained a $3.2 million loan from Tri Counties Bank at the time of the purchase.
The motel site deal in San Jose was arranged through brokers David Taxin and Jeremy Awdish with Meacham/Oppenheimer, a commercial real estate firm.
“We are looking for somebody who would like to put in a new use on the property,” said Taxin, a partner with Meacham/Oppenheimer.
An array of potential activities could replace the motel. The property is large enough at more than two acres that multiple uses could operate on the site.
“It could be fast food, a veterinarian hospital, a gas station,” Taxin said. “It could even be industrial.”
Man shot multiple times inside Oakland home
OAKLAND — A 20-year-old man was in stable condition after he was shot multiple times Tuesday night inside his Eastlake district home, authorities said.
The shooting happened about 9:30 p.m. inside the home in the 1200 block of East 12th Street, an area that is a mixture of residences and small businesses.
Authorities said it appears the man got into an argument with another man inside the home that ended with him being shot at least three times.
Police are trying to determine how the victim knew the suspect and what the dispute was about. The suspect fled the scene before police arrived and was still being sought Wednesday.
The wounded man got a ride to a hospital from another person before police got to the home, authorities said. The man underwent surgery at the hospital and investigators have yet to interview him.
Police and Crime Stoppers of Oakland are offering up to $5,000 in reward money for information leading to the arrest of the shooter. Anyone with information may call police at 510-238-3426 or Crime Stoppers at 510-777-8572.
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Max Scherzer heading to IL, tests show irritation of left oblique
Mets manager Buck Showalter announced that star pitcher Max Scherzer will be placed on the injured list on Wednesday.
Showalter said tests on Scherzer’s left oblique showed irritation on the muscle, which led the righty to exit his last start against the Nationals on Saturday after five innings and 67 pitches.
Showalter added that the 8-time All-Star will miss a start or two before returning to the rotation.
The Mets’ manager wouldn’t get into details of the specific diagnosis, but said it’s “pretty good news” that results showed no tears or significant damage.
“I think it’s best to get that completely healed again,” Showalter told reporters.
Scherzer’s IL stint will be backdated.
After Saturday’s game — an eventual 7-1 loss to the Nationals — Scherzer said he just felt general fatigue on his left side.
“I just had to play it smart,” Scherzer said.
A left oblique strain earlier in the season led him to miss a month and a half of game action.
The 3-time Cy Young winner returned on July 5 and had a great stretch, making 12 starts and pitching to a 2.08 ERA.
The news of Scherzer’s IL stint comes as the Mets, losers of three straight to lousy opposition, open the day in a first-place tie with the Atlanta Braves in the NL East.
Developing story, check back for details