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Cold Case: Joseph Davis


If you have a tip, call the SDPD Homicide Unit at 619-531-2293. For anonymous tips, call Crimestoppers at 888-580-8477 or submit your tip online.

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May 19, 1976

5251 Cushman Street


Joseph Davis, age 65, and his wife Adel, age 70, lived in a small house on Cushman Place in Bay Park. Davis was a self-employed swap meet buyer and seller. He was known to carry large amounts of cash on his person, sometimes using a money belt.

On Saturday night, May 15, 1976, the Davis' answered a knock on the door and were confronted at gunpoint by an unknown intruder. The intruder tied up Davis and his wife, ransacked the house and eventually fled, leaving the elderly couple tied up.

After the robber fled, neither Davis nor his wife could free themselves. They remained tied up, without food or water, from Saturday evening until the following Wednesday, when they were discovered by their housekeeper. Mrs. Davis survived but her husband did not. Davis was a diabetic which meant he was unable to survive for such a long time without food and water.

Davis' car, which the suspect stole, was found abandoned in an apartment complex a few days later. The suspect was described as a white male, 25-35 years old, 6' tall and weighing about 200 lbs., with a dark, heavy beard and long, scraggly hair.

The suspect may have known Davis from seeing him at swap meets.