Missing airman's body found, man arrested

Saturday, May 25th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Authorities found a missing Kansas airman dead Friday evening after talking to a Guthrie man who has been arrested in the slaying.

The body of Master Sgt. Darren Nelson, 35, was discovered about 6:30 p.m. in a wooded area east of Guthrie near Oklahoma Highway 105, said Kym Koch, a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. The area is about 25 miles northeast of Oklahoma City.

OSBI agents found Nelson's body after talking to Travis Ray Davis, 28, who was arrested.

Koch said Davis was taken into custody Friday afternoon in Shamrock, Texas, where his car had broken down.

``We found him (Davis) based on a tip we received that he was in Texas en route to California,'' Koch said. ``As a result of interviewing him, we were able to locate the body.''

Davis waived extradition at a 6 p.m. hearing in Texas and OSBI agents returned him to the Logan County Jail Friday night, where he was booked on a first-degree murder complaint and a complaint of false declaration of a pawn ticket.

``He attempted to buy fishing gear at a pawn shop with the victims credit card,'' Koch said of the false declaration complaint.

Investigators haven't determined a motive, cause of death or relationship between the suspect and the victim, Koch said.

Nelson was last seen a week ago when he left McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita, Kan., for a trip to Oklahoma City. Friends say Nelson never arrived.

A property owner discovered Nelson's car the morning of May 18 in southeast Logan County. The car went through a fence and stopped near a pond.