Police Conclude Wicomico Co. Woman Murdered by Husband - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Police Conclude Wicomico Co. Woman Murdered by Husband

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Alice Elizabeth Davis, murder victim Alice Elizabeth Davis, murder victim
Jess Davis, who committed suicide, is believed by investigators to have murdered his wife Alice. Jess Davis, who committed suicide, is believed by investigators to have murdered his wife Alice.

PRINCESS ANNE, Md.- Police announced Thursday that a missing Wicomico County woman whose body was found in a rural wooded area of Somerset County last Sunday was murdered by her husband. 

Based on evidence developed during the investigation, detectives with the Maryland State Police Homicide Unit and the Wicomico Bureau of Investigation said they have concluded Jess Davis, 57, was responsible for the murder of his wife, Alice Elizabeth Davis, 55.  The couple had lived at a home on the 3500-block of Allen Road in Wicomico County. 

Authorities said that on the evening of Sunday, Sept. 4, Jess Davis called the Wicomico County Sheriff's Office and reported that his wife of 25 years was missing. He told deputies she had gone to the Fruitland Walmart to shop about an hour earlier.  Deputies soon found the Davis' car parked in a lot across from the store where Alice Davis had allegedly gone to shop. 

The WBI assumed the investigation into the disappearance of Alice Davis and was assisted by the MSP Homicide Unit. According to police, investigators began to uncover inconsistencies and inaccuracies in statements made and information provided by Jess Davis. Investigators said search warrants were granted and evidence obtained during searches of the Davis' car and home uncovered evidence that indicated Alice Davis may have been the victim of a crime. Investigators said personal belongings including her wallet and rings were still in her home. 

Investigators said they developed evidence that showed Jess Davis was in the area of Princess Anne on Sept. 4, prior to reporting his wife missing.  They also uncovered evidence that Jess Davis called a taxi and was picked up in the vicinity of where the Davis' car was ultimately found.  The taxi dropped Davis off less than 100 yards from his home.  Jess Davis committed suicide at his home on Wednesday, Sept. 7. 

Just before 5 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 11, troopers from the MSP Princess Anne Barrack were dispatched to the 13000-block of Loretto Road in Princess Anne, in response to a call for a body that had been found.  Upon arrival, troopers observed the body of an unidentified person lying on the ground in the woods about one-quarter mile from Loretto Road. 

The wooded area where the body was found is behind the Supreme Council of the House of Jacob Church on Loretto Road.  Members of the congregation were in the woods that afternoon and unexpectedly found the body, according to police.

The body was transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore.  Dental records were used to positively identify the body of Alice Davis.  After an autopsy, forensic pathologists concluded Alice Davis had been murdered and the cause of her death was blunt force trauma to her head. 

Police said doctors are unable to conclude exactly what specific object was used in the killing.  Doctors did confirm that it was a hard object, such as a hammer. At this time, a weapon used in the murder has not been identified or recovered, despite extensive searches by police. 

Dozens of investigators and crime scene technicians have repeatedly searched the scene and surrounding area where the body of Alice Davis was found, according to police. State Highway Administration personnel were brought in to cut down brambles that were growing in and over a large ditch near the scene. The MSP Underwater Recovery Team searched the water-filled ditch.  A  K-9 dog that detects human scent on items also searched the area. 

Based on the evidence, investigators said they believe Jess Davis murdered his wife on Sunday, Sept. 4.  Although they are unable to say definitively, investigators believe the murder likely occurred at or near the location in the woods where the body of Alice Davis was found.

According to police, investigators also believe Jess Davis transported his wife to that location in their car, returned the car to the parking lot where it was found, and then took a taxi back to the area near his home. Police said they believe Jess Davis acted alone and was the only person involved in this murder. 

Prior to her death, Alice Davis was a senior Advanced Placement English teacher at Parkside High School in Salisbury. She had been employed by Wicomico County Public Schools since 1983 and was Parkside's teacher of the year for 2000-01. She was also the sister of former Salisbury Mayor Barrie Tilghman. According to a family member, it may be several weeks until a memorial service is held for her.

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