The body of a missing Ohio mother has been found in the trunk of her car after she vanished more than two weeks ago, authorities said.
Melinda Kay Davis, a 33-year-old mom of four from Shelby, was discovered dead in her 2013 black Volkswagen Jetta late Sunday at an apartment complex in Galloway, the Mansfield News Journal reported.
The Richland County Sheriff’s Office said during a news conference Monday that the gruesome find was made after a citizen tipped off Columbus police about Davis’ disappearance on Feb. 25.
Court documents show that Davis told a friend she was on her way to Mansfield to see her ex-boyfriend, John H. Mack Jr. — and to reach out to authorities if she didn’t get back in touch with her afterward.
“If you don’t hear from me, call the police,” Davis said.
Mack Jr., 43, was charged with kidnapping Davis on Feb. 26, a day after she was last seen. He was arrested on March 4 in Mansfield by the US Marshals Service and blood believed to be Davis’ was found during a search of his apartment, court documents show.
Davis’ car was then found parked at Lehnert Green apartments in Galloway, less than a mile away from where he worked as a truck driver, the newspaper reported.
A resident at the complex said she noticed the car on Feb. 27 and took a video showing the Jetta in the background.
“I get in my car to smoke a lot of times,” Tiffany Kyser told the Mansfield News Journal. “What if she was alive and I was right there?”
The Jetta was towed late Sunday and Kyser said she regrets not bein more proactive and contacting cops herself about the car, which appeared messy, she said.
“What could I have done?” Kyser told the newspaper. “She was right beside me.”
Kyser said authorities told her a coworker of Mack’s found the vehicle, saying that employees would sometimes park at the apartment complex to dodge parking fees.
An autopsy will be conducted on Davis’ body, authorities said Monday.
Richland County Prosecutor Gary Bishop declined to speculate on a motive in her death and it remains unclear exactly where and when she was killed.
Mack, who remains jailed on $1 million bond, has pleaded not guilty to the kidnapping charge. Bishop said he expects to file additional charges against him, WBNS reported.
“He remains charged with kidnapping,” Bishop told 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.”