Local News

Suspect in teen's disappearances says he's being harassed

Posted August 12, 2011 6:01 p.m. EDT
Updated August 12, 2011 7:15 p.m. EDT

— A Scotland Neck man whom detectives are calling a suspect in a local girl's disappearance more than a year ago says Halifax County sheriff's investigators have been harassing him

The claim comes two days after Dwayne Davis says investigators busted through the door of his home Wednesday to carry out a search warrant related to more than a dozen 911 calls originating from or around his address.

Search warrants made available Thursday indicate that the cellphone calls, from someone who appears to be trying to impersonate a female caller, started in June 2010, in the area where Dwayne Davis lives at 235 Cemetery Road.

Jalesa Reynolds disappeared Feb. 22, 2010, and investigators traced her Internet activity from a local library to a home on Cemetery Road.

"These calls have originated after Mr. Davis became a suspect in a case where a female juvenile is missing from the Scotland Neck area and is known to have been in the presence of Mr. Davis prior to her disappearance," the search warrant's affidavit says.

The document doesn't name Reynolds, but police said Friday that there are no other girls in Scotland Neck who have been reported missing.

Davis, a registered sex offender who says he served eight years in prison after a 1993 second-degree rape conviction, said Friday that Reynolds visited his house once to look at his horses and to use his computer but that he does not know what happened to her.

"All I know is I did not do anything to this young lady," he said. "Just because of your record from the past, it doesn't make you a person that does something to hurt anybody. If you ask anybody about me who knows me, they know I'm a kind, loving, warm-hearted person."

He says he believes someone is playing on the phone to try to get authorities to go to his house.

In their latest search, authorities seized eight cellphones, which Davis says were old and out of service.

He is upset and claims that investigators not only forced their way into his home before he could answer it but that they also had guns drawn on him and tried to make him get on the floor.

"I actually have pictures where they put handcuffs on me so tight (that) my arms was red."

A spokesman for the Halifax County Sheriff's Office said that investigators carrying out the search warrant acted appropriately in the situation, but he declined to comment further, saying it would be inappropriate to do so.

Reynolds' mother, Bernice Reynolds, did not want to talk about Davis Friday, but she said she would like anyone who might know what happened to her daughter to come forward.

"If that was their child, they would want the same thing," she said. "It's been hard. I just want closure."

Davis says he feels badly for the Reynolds family.

"She was a nice young lady," he said.

"I feel bad, you know, because everybody thinks I had something to do with this lady's disappearance," he added. "I didn't."