Ceremony Held For Slain Pregnant Woman

Friday, June 29th 2007, 5:39 pm
By: News On 6

NORTH CANTON, Ohio (AP) _ Some of the thousands who flocked here to search for a missing pregnant woman just a week ago became mourners Friday.

Large crowds were expected to gather at a vigil for Jessie Davis, whose police officer boyfriend is accused of killing her and her unborn daughter.

Jessie Davis' casket was surrounded by pink and white bouquets of lilies and roses at House of the Lord Church in Akron. Mourners paid their respects to the 26-year-old single mother and the girl she planned to name Chloe.

Photos of Davis were projected on a large screen on the wall behind the casket. In one photo, Davis' arms were wrapped around her 2 1/2-year-old son, Blake, who slumbers comfortably on top of her.

``It's very upsetting. Very quiet. Very somber in there,'' said Susan Lane, who worked with Davis at Allstate Insurance. ``So many of us went out on the search looking for her and to have it end like this is not good.''

A candlelight ceremony was planned for Friday night outside her home in nearby Lake Township, and her funeral was scheduled for Saturday.

Davis was killed at home June 14, and Blake provided authorities with the first clues, saying: ``Mommy was crying. Mommy broke the table. Mommy's in rug.''

Her body was recovered by authorities June 23, dumped in Cuyahoga Valley National Park about 25 miles away. Authorities have not said how they located her remains.

Canton police officer Bobby Cutts Jr. was arrested the same day and is charged with two counts of murder. The 30-year-old is Blake's father, and Davis' family says he's also the father of Davis' unborn baby. She was due to deliver July 3.

``It's terrible little Chloe, her date of death is before her birthday,'' Lane said. ``She didn't even have a birthday.''

Cutts, who also has a daughter with an estranged wife, has a preliminary hearing scheduled for Monday. Prosecutors will have to show enough evidence to justify sending the case to a grand jury.

The Summit County Medical Examiner's office still has not determined a cause of death, which may take weeks due to the advanced decomposition. The office will test the paternity of the fetus and conduct toxicology and DNA tests and a skeletal analysis.