13 UNSOLVED: 'Princess Blue' found dead on gravel road in Manvel 30 years ago finally identified

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Sunday, June 21, 2020
'Princess Blue' identified: Texas cold case gets major break
ABC13 UNSOLVED: A woman known only as Princess Blue was found dead in 1990. Now 30 years later, she has finally been identified. This is how investigators discovered who she was.

MANVEL, Texas (KTRK) -- The missing woman known only as "Princess Blue" for 30 years now has a name.

She is Julie Gwenn Davis, according to Manvel police.

On September 10, 1990, her bones were found on the side of County Road 101, east of what's now Highway 288, in Manvel. There wasn't much evidence, except some silver rings and a pearl bracelet. There was no purse or identification.

The autopsy didn't reveal much. The medical examiner couldn't say for sure how the woman died. There were no drugs in her system. She had a couple of fractured ribs. At the time, it was believed she was likely between 15 and 19 years old. No one in the area came forward looking for a missing woman. The case went cold.

Fast-forward 16 years when a curious detective reopened the box of jewelry collected from the scene and noticed one of the rings was a high school class ring. The year 1975 was carved into the band along with the school name: Robert E. Lee, the high school located in west Houston. Police released pictures of the ring with the bright blue stone to the media, hoping to generate new leads.

The mystery woman became known as Princess Blue.

In November, ABC13 got exclusive access to her case. Detectives showed us never before seen photos of what little evidence they had and her jewelry.

ORIGINAL STORY: 13 UNSOLVED: 'Princess Blue' found dead on Manvel gravel road nearly 30 years ago

Manvel Police Department has sent back the still-unidentified remains of "Princess Blue," which was found in 1990.

Meanwhile, about 130 miles east of Manvel in Orange, Texas, Danny Davis had just given his DNA to a Texas Ranger, in hopes of finding his sister, Julie Davis, who went missing 33 years ago. The Texas Ranger was investigating the possibility Julie might have been a missing woman found dead in another part of the state.

But when Danny's DNA went into the state database, it matched Princess Blue's DNA. Investigators say with 99.9% certainty, Princess Blue is Julie Davis.

"I'm still trying to process that they found her. That it took so long," Danny told ABC13 over the phone from his home in Orange. "I wouldn't have believed it's her if that detective didn't tell me the DNA matched."

He said he had never heard of the Princess Blue case.

We asked if Julie could have had any connection to Houston or to Robert E. Lee High School.

"I just found out last night from my sister, Shelly, that Shelly met Julie's husband at one point, years back, and she said he was from Houston," Danny said.

Danny believes Julie got married at 18, shortly after she left home and headed for New Orleans. Danny was 17 years old at the time.

"That's the last thing I remember of her, her giving me a hug, telling me she loved me, and she broke down in tears and walked away, and that's the last time I saw her," Danny said.

Detectives still don't know what Julie's connection to the class ring could have been, the ring that made her case so mysterious. Now, the real investigation begins.

Police are looking to Danny and Julie's four other siblings for help.

"I miss her," Danny said. "I'd give anything to see her again. She was always smiling, always happy."

Julie's parents both passed away never knowing what happened to their daughter. But Manvel police have met with Julie's brothers and sisters. Danny says he's in the process of trying to get Julie's remains back to their home in Orange to give Julie the burial she deserves.

"I want (people) to know she had a face. She has a name and now, I'm fixing to give it back to her. And I get to say goodbye to her," Danny said.

Now that Princess Blue has been identified, detectives have reignited the investigation. Because the medical examiner was never able to figure out her cause of death, police still don't know for certain if Julie was murdered.

"To be honest with you, I don't think she died naturally. No one is going to walk down a dead end road, jump over a guardrail and drop dead," Danny said. "Regardless of what it takes, I want to work to find out who took my sister's life, if that happens to be the case. I want them to pay for their crime."

Julie's family is raising money to bury her. If you'd like to donate, visit their gofundme page.

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