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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Waiting for the beginning of the truth

Everyone has to handle the discovery of Jessie Marie Davis and her baby Chloe being found in the dirt today. I will let this just be for a day or two. I'll be still and wait for the beginning of truth. That leaves time to pray for her family, her community, all the law enforcement officers who are still working so hard, and for the family and friends of Canton Ohio Police Officer Bobby Cutts, who (thank you Lord) is in custody.


  1. AnonymousJune 24, 2007

    Jessie and baby are gone. Gotta make their deaths worth something for others now.

  2. AnonymousJune 19, 2008

    Jessie Davis died a year ago. Her mother finally has time to grieve
    The Plain Dealer
    Posted by Laura Johnston
    June 13, 2008 21:05PM

    When Patty Porter takes her 3-year-old grandson to counseling, he demands a little ritual.

    They kiss three times. Hug twice. Say, "See you later, alligator," and "After a while, crocodile." Blake Davis does not want Porter to leave.

    It's been a year since his mother, Jessie Davis, went missing from her Stark County duplex. A year since her friendly face and pregnant belly flashed frantically on cable TV, since thousands of well-wishers volunteered to help search for her body. A year that Blake and his grandmother have been coping with the pain.

    The roller coaster of grief -- the blind plunges, peaks and chugging climbs -- has just begun, though. The last year was so public, so hectic with a move to a new home and the murder trial of Davis' boyfriend, Bobby Cutts Jr., that the family is just now finding time to confront their emotions.

    "There's just so many feelings and so many people that weren't in my life before," Porter said Friday in an interview at her church, The House of the Lord. "We can't just close the door and move forward."

    Last week Porter cried for three days in a row.

    She is mourning her oldest daughter -- the 26-year-old mother, nine months pregnant; the shy caretaker with a wicked sense of humor; the blonde kid who rode a pink bike and liked to play church.

    She went missing last June 14.

    Days later, thousands of Northeast Ohio residents arrived to search and pray for Davis, and the national media swarmed. Porter, blond and polished, talked to reporters for 14 hours straight.

    "I thought if I quit talking, people would go home," she said. "So I just stood there."

    She understood why people came, why they cared about her girl-next-door-looking daughter. She hoped they would find Davis' body.

    But she didn't believe she was out there, alive.

    When she arrived at Davis' duplex on June 15, 2007, "there was such a presence of evil ... I knew immediately my daughter was gone," she said. She believed Davis was in heaven. And there, then, she forgave her daughter's killer.

    Eight days later, Cutts led police to Davis' body, lying in a remote corner of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

    He was convicted in February of murder, aggravated murder of Davis' unborn daughter and other related charges, and sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 57 years.

    At the sentencing, Porter publicly forgave Cutts, the father of Blake and Davis' unborn daughter, Chloe.

    She has forged a relationship with Cutts' mother, Renee Jones, whom Blake visits regularly. And she has found peace through her family, her church and Jesus Christ.

    "America is not a society that teaches us to deal with loss," said her pastor, Bishop F. Josephus Johnson II, who hopes Porter's struggle will inspire others to seek help with grief.

    "Grief is a process of forgiveness," he said. "Days come, things happen, that remind you of what went on ... You carry those people with you."

    Holidays are hard, obviously. But memories surface in the mundane, too. Like when Blake turned on the TV and a rerun of "Family Matters" came on.

    "That was one of your mom's favorite shows," Porter told him.

    Blake often talks about his mom and dad, knows that Daddy had to go away to a long time-out because he hurt Mommy.

    Most times, he acts like a regular kid, loves cars, the cartoon "Ni Hao Kai-lan!," swimming and puzzles. But he hates when Porter leaves. And although he says he wants to try Sunday school, he refuses to be separated at church.

    Porter cares full-time for Blake, as well as her two teenage sons.

    The four live in a split-level house donated last year by Countrywide Mortgage and dotted with furniture from Davis' duplex. And nearly every day, Porter's daughters gather there.

    Each day is different, she said.

    But each day she looks at the 8-by-10 photo of Davis and Blake she keeps on her dresser. And each day she confronts the surges of grief as they come.

    "I really try to get up, really try to be thankful for that day that I have," Porter said. "I have a lot to be grateful for, that I had her for 26 years."



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