Murder

'We Prayed It Was Not Him'

UPDATED 07/09/2007 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 07/09/2007 at 01:00 AM EDT

They tell Blake Davis that his mommy is in Heaven with Jesus, but the little boy doesn't understand. Blake, who's not yet 3, just wants to know where she is, what she's doing, why he can't talk to her. "He calls her," explained his grandmother Patty Porter. "He has an old cell phone, and he calls her, and he talks to her."

Those who know the awful truth of what happened to Blake's mother are having a hard time understanding too. On June 23 deputies found the body of Jessie Marie Davis, 26, in a shallow grave in Cuyahoga Valley National Park near Akron, Ohio, about 25 miles from where Davis—a single mother who was nine months pregnant—disappeared from her North Canton home nine days earlier. Her unborn child was still in her womb when searchers found her. Just hours later police arrested Bobby Cutts Jr., 30, Davis's boyfriend and Blake's father, and charged him with the murders of both Davis and the unborn child, which her family says was his too. Police also arrested Myisha Ferrell, 29, a friend of Cutts's from high school, and charged her with obstruction of justice; she may have helped Cutts move the body.

The charges against Cutts, a police officer who is married with a daughter and has a child with another woman besides Davis, are shocking: Police say he killed Davis in her home, then left his son alone in the house for more than a day until Davis's mother, Patty Porter, came over and found the boy in dirty diapers. "Mommy's in rug," he told her, referring, investigators suspect, to the bed comforter Cutts may have used to remove Davis's body. Early on, her family did its best to stay positive about Cutts, who was never formally named a suspect. "We prayed it was not him," Porter said. "That's my grandson's father."

Through an attorney Cutts has denied killing Davis; he claims he found her near death when he went to see her. "She reached for his trousers; her eyes rolled back and she died," Canton Police Union Attorney Avery Friedman told ABC News. "He panicked. He called a friend. The friend came over and assisted him in the removal of the body." Police will confirm only that it was Cutts who led them to the body.

In 1998 Cutts pleaded no contest to disorderly conduct after forcing his way into the home of Nikki Giavasis, 30, a model and actress with whom he has a daughter, 9. "He puts on an air of being very charismatic, and people like him because they think he is a good person," says Giavasis, who has been battling Cutts over custody of their daughter. But in private, she alleges, he can be "manipulative, controlling and abusive. Like Jekyll and Hyde." Giavasis claims he verbally and physically abused her for some time after they split.

In 2000 Cutts became a police officer and the next year married Kelly Schaub; they have a daughter, now 6. But in 2004 Cutts fathered another child, with Jessie Davis. Neither police nor Davis's family are saying much about the nature of their relationship, though everyone who knew her says she loved being a mother. She had already picked out a name for her daughter: Chloe Leann. "She would be like, 'She's kicking, and we would all roll our chairs over real fast to feel her kick,'" says Dianna Piltz, who worked with her at Allstate Insurance in Hudson. Sadly, she didn't live to be a mother again. Police have yet to say how or why they believe Cutts killed Davis; nor have they disclosed what role Cutts's friend, Myisha Ferrell, a dishwasher, may have played at the crime scene. Cutts is now in prison awaiting a July 2 hearing.

Just weeks before Davis disappeared, someone calling themselves DALAW150 took out a personal ad on an Internet dating site; the photos appear to be of Bobby Cutts, and the ad describes a man in law enforcement who is "easy-going" and "likes to have fun." But Davis's grieving mother—who stared down Cutts at his June 25 arraignment—believes he is something far more sinister. "I wanted to make sure he knew I was there," she said. "We do not want vengeance. We want justice."

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