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6/20/07-Canton, Ohio

Where Is Jessie Davis?

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CANTON, Ohio (AP) - The father of a missing northeast Ohio woman's son and unborn daughter says he had nothing to do with her disappearance.

In an interview with The Repository newspaper of Canton, Bobby Cutts Junior says he's not a suspect in Jessie Davis' disappearance, but that police also have not told him he's been cleared.

Cutts, a Canton police officer, says "the last five days have been a nightmare." He says he isn't sleeping much and has no appetite.

Cutts says he last spoke with Davis at eight o'clock last Wednesday night, about 90 minutes before she was last heard from in a telephone conversation with her mother.

The 26-year-old Davis is due to deliver a baby girl July Third.

The 30-year-old Cutts says he's separated from his wife Kelly, and that she knew he had a relationship with Davis.

A couple who found a newborn baby in a basket on their porch, 45 miles from where a pregnant woman vanished, believes it is more likely the baby came from someone familiar with the wife's work as a nurse than from the missing woman.

The infant girl was sleeping in a wicker basket, her umbilical cord tied off with a rubber band, when Don Redman and his wife Sue returned from dinner Monday evening to their rural home south of Wooster. Don Redman speculated that the baby was left by someone who knew his wife's background as a nurse and board member at a local free clinic.

"My wife has been a school nurse and has dealt with young females in a confidential manner over a number of years," Redman said. "We don't feel at this point that there's any connection (with the missing woman)."

A DNA sample was taken Tuesday from the infant and given to Stark County authorities investigating the disappearance of Jessie Davis, said Thomas Maurer, sheriff in neighboring Wayne County.

Also on Tuesday, the father of the missing woman's son and unborn daughter said he had nothing to do with her disappearance, a newspaper reported.

Bobby Cutts Jr., 30, told The Repository he's not a suspect in Davis' disappearance but that authorities also have not told him he's been cleared.

"The last five days have been a nightmare. It won't end," said Cutts, a Canton police officer who cried during the interview with the newspaper and said he has slept little and has no appetite.

Davis, 26, who is due July 3 with a baby girl, was last heard from Wednesday when she spoke to her mother by phone from her home in nearby North Canton in northeast Ohio.

Cutts, who also has least one child with his wife Kelly, said he and his wife are separated but have not filed for divorce and that she knew he had a relationship with Davis.

He said he last spoke with Davis at 8 p.m. last Wednesday, about 90 minutes before she last spoke with her mother. Authorities say he is cooperating in the search for Davis.

"Hopefully, she'll be found alive," he said.

At a news conference Tuesday, Stark County authorities reiterated that they had no suspects in Davis' disappearance.

Chief Deputy Rick Perez said his office had not done a DNA test to see if the baby found on the Wooster doorstep was Davis' and declined to comment on whether they would conduct a test.

Maurer also did not believe there is a connection between the full-term baby and the missing woman. He said a doctor determined that the baby was less than 24 hours old.

"We're using every caution we can" to identify the baby or eliminate the possibility that she is related to Davis, Maurer said.

Maurer said the baby found was dressed in a sleeper. The wicker basket contained a blanket, a can of baby formula and a bottle containing formula, but there was no note, he said.

She was taken to Wooster Community Hospital.

The Stark County sheriff's department released a surveillance camera photo Tuesday of Davis pushing a shopping cart with 2-year-old son Blake at an Acme supermarket in North Canton. The time on the camera reads 6:24 p.m. Wednesday.

Cutts had an amicable relationship with Davis and is a good father who shared parenting duties, said John Miller, president of the Canton patrolman's union.

Cutts, who is now on leave from his job, juggled parenthood with the demands of his patrol job on the midnight shift, Miller said, and coaches youth baseball, basketball and football.

"He's a good officer. He's got no problems at work. He treats people well," Miller said.

In 1998, Cutts pleaded no contest to a disorderly conduct charge and was sentenced to three years' probation after a former girlfriend accused him of breaking a door jamb and forcing his way into their home, causing her to fear for her safety, according to a police report from nearby Jackson Township.

Authorities searched Cutts' home in Canton in northeast Ohio over the weekend and again Monday night.

Davis, who planned to name her unborn daughter Chloe, was reported missing on Friday when her mother, Patricia Porter, went to Davis' house to check on her and found her grandson, Blake, alone, wearing a dirty diaper in a home with furniture askew. A pool of bleach was on the bedroom floor, and the contents of Davis' purse were scattered in the kitchen.

Blake told investigators: "Mommy was crying. Mommy broke the table. Mommy's in the rug."

Her cell phone and a comforter were missing.

Davis' family has declined to talk about her relationship with Cutts. Her father, Ned, held back tears Tuesday in an interview, saying he's trying to block out all emotion and focus on his daughter's safe return.

"I'm a dad that wants his daughter back," he said.

Miller accused the Stark County Sheriff's Office of waiting too long to retrieve Davis' cell phone records. The sheriff's department has not discussed whether any clues have been found in the records and, during a Tuesday news conference, Perez gave no answers to repeated questions about the delay in checking them.

About two years after his conviction in the disorderly conduct case, Cutts was hired by the Canton Police Department. An officer conducting a background check said Cutts had cooperated with authorities and ended his relationship with his then-girlfriend.

Cutts' personnel file also shows he won an appeal to overturn his firing in 2003 when authorities conducting a drug raid on his cousin's home found Cutts' handgun hidden under a mattress. Canton police officials accused Cutts of giving the gun to his cousin for protection and said Cutts was lying when he reported the gun stolen.

A federal arbitrator ordered the city to reinstate the officer, saying Canton police had not proven the allegation.

 

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