A missing mom from Ohio was found dead in the trunk of her own car after she disappeared without explanation over two weeks ago, according to authorities.
On Sunday, the body of the mother of four from Shelby, identified as 33-year-old Melinda Kay Davis, was found in the trunk of her 2013 black Volkswagen Jetta parked in an apartment complex in Galloway, the Mansfield News Journal reports.
The Richland County Sheriff’s Office told the press on Monday that the grisly discovery was made after someone made an anonymous call to the Columbus police about Davis’s mysterious vanishing on Feb. 25.
According to court documents, Davis let a friend know she was traveling to Mansfield to reconnect with an ex-boyfriend, John H. Mack Jr., before noting that they should contact the authorities if they did not hear from her afterward.
“If you don’t hear from me, call the police,” her friend says she instructed.
On Feb. 26—just one day after anyone last saw Davis—Mack, 43, was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping her. He was taken into police custody on March 4 in Mansfield by the US Marshals Service. Blood that authorities say might be Davis’s was discovered during a search of the ex’s apartment, according to court documents.
The vehicle owned by the victim was then seen parked at Lehnert Green apartments in Galloway, about a mile from where Mack was employed as a truck driver, the outlet reported.
Someone who resided at the apartment complex reported that she witnessed the car on Feb. 27 and took some footage with Davis’s Jetta in the background.
“I get in my car to smoke a lot of times,” Tiffany Kyser said to the Mansfield News Journal. “What if she was alive and I was right there?”
Late in the day on Sunday, the Jetta was towed and Kyser said she wished she was more diligent in reaching out to the police about the abandoned vehicle, which she noted looked dirty.
“What could I have done?” Kyser said to the outlet. “She was right beside me.”
Kyser reported that investigators informed her that a coworker of Mack’s first spotted the car, stating that employees would occasionally leave their cars at the apartment complex to avoid parking fees.
“The vehicle was brought back to Richland County to be processed by Ohio BCI and Melinda Davis’s body was found in the trunk of the vehicle,” said Sheriff J. Steve Sheldon. “The family was notified this morning.”
“Based on their investigation, and collection and processing of evidence and after consulting with the Richland County Prosecutor’s Office, detectives obtained an arrest warrant for John Henry Mack Jr.,” Sheldon commented.
Davis was discovered 18 days after the police investigation began. Authorities said Monday that an autopsy will be performed on Davis’s body.
Richland County Prosecutor Gary Bishop would not hazard a guess about any possible motive in the young mother’s death. The investigation is still ongoing about the details of where and when she was murdered.
Mack, who is being held on a $1 million bond, has entered a plea of not guilty to the kidnapping charge. Bishop expressed that he is prepared to file additional charges against Mack as the investigation unfolds, according to WBNS.
“He remains charged with kidnapping,” Bishop said to reporters. “He’s also charged with receiving stolen property for an unrelated matter. Obviously, the charges and the number of charges will be determined at a later date once this investigation is fully completed.”
Bishop revealed that two other people face obstruction of justice charges.
“Those two other individuals are still charged,” said Bishop. “They will continue to go through the process. It’s too early to determine if other people will be involved.”