Canton, Ohio, police officer Bobby Cutts, whose home was searched Wednesday, was the lover of the pregnant woman who went missing last week.
FBI agents and Stark County sheriff’s deputies spent more than
four hours Wednesday evening searching Bobby L. Cutts Jr.’s house, looking
for cell phones and a quilt.
Members of Cutts' family, who watched from across the street, said agents
sought a cell phone that belonged to Jessie Marie Davis, a Lake Township
woman who went missing last week. Davis is nine months pregnant, and her family
members insist that Cutts is the baby’s father.
As investigators searched, neighbors filed the streets.
Some were attracted by sheriff’s cruisers that blocked Ayrshire Avenue NE in
front of Cutts’ house. Others came because of the phalanx of camera crews
and reporters behind the cars. Still more came after hearing television
helicopters fly over their neighborhood.
After three hours inside Cutts’ house, agents with the FBI Evidence Response
Team began carrying out boxes and cases, as well as bundled items. Family
members said clothing, bedding and other items were taken.
Agents and deputies declined to comment, and referred questions to
supervisors. A spokesman for the FBI’s Cleveland office acknowledged the
search was taking place, but offered no details.
LOTS OF SPECULATING
Neighbors watched and speculated. Many were amazed by the turn of events.
“I just came up for a garage sale, and this is what I found,” said Mary
Kathleen Gullo, who lives on Rolling Ridge Avenue NE.
Although officials steadfastly refuse to call Cutts a suspect, the multiple
searches at his house seem suspicious, said Richard Gier, a Kirby Avenue NE
resident. “You never think it’s going to happen in your back yard.”
The neighborhood gathering ended about 8:30 p.m. after investigators
Reporters rushed the front door, ignoring “private property, no trespassing”
signs that have been placed in the yard in the afternoon. Someone inside
told them to leave.
Family members said Cutts was fingerprinted and swabbed for DNA samples.
The search started about 3:45 p.m., roughly 30 minutes after Stark County
Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Rick Perez and a FBI Special Agent Frank Figliuzzi
offered an update on the search for Davis.
The FBI has offered a $10,000 reward for anyone who provides information on
Davis’ whereabouts. Tim Miller, founder of Texas EquuSearch, said his
operation will add $5,000 to the reward.
The reward is a bid to get people with information to step forward,
Figliuzzi said. “The right thing to do is to share that with us. The right
time to do it is now.”
Perez said investigators have started reviewing Davis’ cellular telephone
records, identifying telephone numbers logged to the phone. They are using
the information to compile a timeline of Davis’ activities late last week.
The last time anyone is known to have talked with Davis was about 9:30
p.m. June 13. Davis talked to her mother, Patty Porter. Cutts said he
talked to Davis about 8 p.m. last Wednesday. Investigators also have
security camera photographs of Davis when she visited a grocery store just
before 6:30 that night.
The search for Davis started last Friday when Porter and another daughter
went to her Essex Avenue NW duplex. They found Davis’ 2-year-old son Blake
alone, wearing a dirty diaper. Her daughter’s purse was dumped on the floor,
and the bedroom was in disarray.
Perez said investigators have continually searched for Davis since Friday.
They are chasing nearly 500 telephone and online tips.
Perez said it could be two weeks before DNA tests determine if a newborn
baby girl found Monday night at a house near Wooster is connected to Davis.
Some wonder if the girl could be Davis’ daughter.
The baby is in the temporary custody of the Wayne County Department of Job
and Family Services, clinical director Robin Troyer said. It’s likely the
child will be placed with foster parents, but that’s a decision to be made
by Wayne County Juvenile Court Judge Raymond Leisy, Troyer said.
Figliuzzi said officials haven’t ruled out the possibility the baby is
Davis’ child. “It’s too early to make a decision on personal observations,”
The department will work with Texas EquuSearch to find Davis. Perez and
Figliuzzi met after the news conference for nearly an hour with Miller
sorting out plans.
Texas EquuSearch is helping at the request of Davis’ family.
Family members also continue talking with national media representatives,
working to keep the case in the spotlight.
“Everybody go out there, keep this alive for the family. That’s what we
want,” Canton lawyer Rick Pitinii said, wrapping a press session with
Whitney Davis and Miller.
Porter appeared on CNN’s “Larry King Live” Wednesday night. She recounted
her discovery that her daughter was missing, then admitted to King that she
is fearing the worst. “It’s been a week,” she said in a quavering voice.
Family members are convinced someone abducted Davis. Whitney declined on
Wednesday afternoon to discuss speculation that Cutts is involved in the
Later in the day, Porter told King: “Bobby Cutts is my grandson’s father.
... This is the most painful part of this whole thing for me, is that I pray
every day that it’s not Bobby Cutts. That’s my prayer, that it’s not him. I
want it to be someone who doesn’t even know us.”
Repository staff writers Todd Porter, Bob Russ and Robert Wang contributed
to this report.