Retired METRO bus driver found stabbed to death

August 18, 2010 8:58:28 AM PDT
A Houston community is in shock after the brutal murder of a man in his own home. And it didn't go unnoticed. A neighbor knew right away that something wasn't right at the man's northwest Houston home. Joseph Davis meant different things to different people. The 69-year-old retiree loved his family and his church. Those who knew him are deeply saddened and deeply troubled by the circumstances surrounding his death.

"He was a very loyal, dedicated member of this church," said Pastor Lewis Jackson of Mount Vernon United Methodist Church.

Davis was at the church every Sunday to greet his fellow church members at the door. He was an usher and a trustee and for more than two decades, Mount Vernon United Methodist Church was Davis' home away from home.

"He was one of those persons that you'd know when he was here and we are gonna miss him," said Jackson. "We already miss him now."

Early Tuesday morning, Davis was found murdered inside his north side home. Police say he'd been stabbed multiple times. His house had been ransacked.

Davis' family is devastated.

"He was a good-hearted person. They didn't have to kill him," said the victim's sister, Bobbie Harris. "He would have given them anything they wanted."

Grieving family members called the killing senseless and leaned on each other for support as investigators searched the home for clues.

A neighbor called police after he spotted a suspicious looking woman leaving Davis' house with two duffle bags.

"He was always giving and doing and helping, so I just can't understand who would want to come in there and do something to him," said the victim's niece, Barbara Caldwell.

Relatives say they won't rest until his killer is brought to justice.

"What do we do now? Rely on God. That's what we'll do now. That's all we can do now," said Dwayne Davis, the victim's son.

No arrests have been made. Houston police arrived on the scene about 40 minutes after the initial call.

At 2:22am, the neighbor reported suspicious activity. The neighbor said a woman with gloves was walking away. When he called back at 2:50am, the operator transferred him to a Spanish speaking line. He called a third time at 3:15am, but got frustrated and hung up.

By then, police were already there. They were dispatched at 2:39am, 17 minutes after the initial call and arrived at Davis' house at 3:01am. While it may seem like a long time, police tell us this is not uncommon. Calls are coded according to what the reportee tells the dispatcher. Priority 4 calls like suspicious activity mean there's not a crime in progress and there is no threat to life.

The suspect is descrbied only as a black female, 35 to 40 years of age, about 140 pounds with short hair and a medium complexion. She was wearing shorts and carrying a duffle bag.

Anyone with information in this case is urged to contact the HPD Homicide Division at 713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.


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