Local News

Men Sought in Bragtown Slaying

Posted September 26, 2007
Updated September 27, 2007

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— Authorities on Thursday were searching for two men in connection with the Wednesday slaying of an 89-year-old man inside his home in Durham's Bragtown community.

Family members on Wednesday night found Charles Forest Davis lying on the floor of his home at 2913 Nellowood St. The back door to the home was unlocked, they said.

Davis had been stabbed several times, authorities said. They haven't released information about a possible motive, but family members said it appeared that Davis had been killed during a robbery.

A 1993 white Buick Century was missing from the home when Davis' body was discovered. A Durham County deputy on routine patrol spotted a car matching the description of the missing car shortly before 9 a.m. Thursday and briefly chased it, ending up on Constance Avenue, a dead-end street off Interstate 85.

Two men jumped from the car and ran into nearby woods, authorities said. A law enforcement helicopter and K-9 officers were searching the neighborhood near where the car was found, and investigators combed the abandoned car for evidence.

Two teens, ages 16 and 18, were questioned about Davis' death Thursday morning but were later released, authorities said.

Davis was supposed to pick up his wife from a dialysis treatment Wednesday afternoon but never showed up, relatives said. His brother-in-law said he picked her up instead and went to check on Davis later in the evening.

"He will be missed. I don't have word to explain how much he'll be missed," said Rev. James Freeman, the pastor of Mount Olive Baptist Church, where Davis had been a deacon for about 50 years. "The congregation – those that I had called on the phone before I came down here – they just cried on the phone. Some of them just fell out because they just can't believe it."

Authorities said several break-ins have occurred in the Bragtown area in recent weeks.

Anyone with information about the case should contact the Durham County Sheriff's Office at 919-560-0900.

A neighbor said Davis was a church deacon and a World War II veteran who celebrated his 89th birthday two weeks ago.