Boyfriend held in woman's death

Body of victim was found in sleeping bag beside road

August 02, 2008|By Kevin Rector | Kevin Rector,Sun reporter

The boyfriend of an Aberdeen woman who was found dead Wednesday afternoon in a sleeping bag on the side of a rural Harford County road was arrested and charged with murder yesterday, state police said.

Tyrone L. Wiggins, 48, of the 700 block of W. Bel Air Ave. was charged with first-degree and second-degree murder in the death of Jodie S. Davis, 41, of the 700 block of Clayton St. in Aberdeen, said Gregory Shipley, a Maryland State Police spokesman.

Davis was shot with a handgun while she was in Wiggins' apartment Tuesday night, police said. Her body was put in a sleeping bag and left on Bush Chapel Road, and then her car was moved from the apartment complex, police said.

The gun used in the shooting has not been recovered, Shipley said, but police found bloody clothing in a trash bin near the apartment.

Police do not know of a motive in the killing and were continuing to investigate, he said.

Officers began questioning Wiggins after he showed up Thursday at the home of Davis' father in Aberdeen while state troopers were there, Shipley said.

The victim's father, Wilbert Davis, said yesterday that his daughter "was just a nice, caring person, and she gave a lot of herself to everybody. Even people who really didn't know her, she would reach out to them."

He said she had worked at several law offices in the Aberdeen and Bel Air areas. She attended Aberdeen High School before leaving in her senior year to join Job Corps, he said.

Jodie Davis' body was discovered about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday after a motorist on Bush Chapel Road noticed a large, olive-green object on the side of the road and called police, Shipley said. When officers responded, they found Davis' body wrapped in a sleeping bag, he said. The body had a gunshot wound.

According to police, Davis' body could have been on the side of the road since 6 a.m. that day. Shipley declined to say where Davis' gunshot wound was.

Crime scene technicians identified Davis on Thursday through the state's Automated Fingerprint Identification System at the state police forensic laboratory. A state medical examiner determined that she died of the gunshot wound.

Wiggins was being held without bail yesterday at the Harford County Detention Center.

Wilbert Davis said the arrest came as good news to the family, which was still coming to terms yesterday with Davis' death.

"We're totally shocked," said Dorothy Ward Westbrook, her aunt. "We're just trying to deal with this the best we can."

"I don't quite understand how anybody would have the heart to take a life," said Elizabeth P. Ward, Davis' grandmother. "I don't know just what life will be like without Jodie, but in the meantime we'll go on missing her and loving her. It's a great loss."

Davis often joked with her extended family of aunts, uncles and cousins, and with her two sons, James Taylor, 17, and John Taylor, 14, who attend Aberdeen High School, family members said.

Whenever hard times hit the family, it was Davis who cheered everybody up, said her cousin, Shari Westbrook.

"She was always good for a laugh, no matter how hard it was," Westbrook said. "She was always there to make you smile."

kevin.rector@baltsun.com

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