A high school football player has gone from being considered a missing person to being accused of murdering his mother’s former lover.
Gabriel Michael Davies and his co-defendant Justin Jiwoon Yoon, both 16, are being charged as adults for allegedly killing Daniel McCaw, 51, according to local reports out of Washington state.
Prosecutors have reportedly said that the football player staged his disappearance.
Previously reported missing Thurston Co. teen Gabriel Davies’ bail has been set at $1M. He’s charged as an adult w/ murder, burglary & unlawful possession of a firearm. Prosecutors say he staged his disappearance and may have tampered w/ evidence @komonews pic.twitter.com/0vnEXkIwIF
— Lynnanne Nguyen (@LynnanneNguyen) September 6, 2022
The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office had announced last week that Davies had gone missing. The office described Davies as having disappeared “under suspicious circumstances.” He reportedly left his Olympia home for football practice at Olympia High School but never arrived. His vehicle turned up near the 16100 of Tilley Road S., near the city of Tenino.
The abandoned vehicle had keys in the ignition and the driver’s side door was open, Thurston County Sheriff John Sanza told reporters in a press conference.
The registered owner of the vehicle is Davies’ father, Sanza said. The father told deputies his son was supposed to be at football practice, but there was no juvenile near the vehicle, the sheriff said.
Davies was ultimately found Friday at the 13600 block of Tilley Road S, deputies said. Sanza described him as walking alone, and the teenager reportedly said he was wondering around for the previous 24 hours.
The missing person case, however, was just the beginning.
Over in neighboring Pierce County, local deputies said they responded to a welfare check at the 21700 block of 190th Street E. in the city of Orting. The resident, a 51-year-old man, had not shown up for work in four days.
Deputies managed to get inside the home and found McCaw dead inside. He apparently had been shot and there was no gun nearby, according to reports.
“Friday night our detectives had enough evidence for probable cause to arrest two suspects in this case,” deputies said. “Just after 8:00 pm both of our suspects, two 16-year-old males, were taken into custody. Both males were booked into Remann Hall Juvenile Detention Center for Murder in the 2nd Degree, Burglary in the 1st Degree, and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm.”
Prosecutors later announced that the two young men also now face first degree murder and additional unlawful firearm possession charges.
McCaw had been in a relationship with Davies’ mother, detectives said, according to a report by local Fox affiliate KCPQ. The local News Tribune newspaper reported that property and court records tie Davies to the home, where he, McCaw, and Davies’ mother apparently lived together for several years.
Surveillance footage of McCaw’s home showed two “young skinny males” arrived there on Aug. 28 at 1:59 a.m, authorities said. They reportedly entered the house by crawling through a dog door. McCaw left his detached garage at 2:41 a.m. and “stumbled” into the home, authorities said. Minutes later, at 2:47 a.m., a dog reportedly suddenly ran out of the dog door. The suspects then allegedly left the residence through the side door.
“The suspects ran back and forth to the garage before fleeing at approximately 2:52 a.m.,” authorities said, according to the KCPQ story. “Both suspects appeared to be carrying items, including a possible handgun.” They wore gloves and appeared to be carrying something away, authorities said.
Detectives suggested Davies and Yoon were the suspects, based on Department of Licensing photos.
According to KCPQ, citing court documents:
The father said that his son was approached by the victim’s ‘biker buddies’ to steal something from the victim’s residence. He further stated that they threatened his son with harm if he didn’t do it. Gabriel Davies confided in Justin Yoon, and the two of them developed a ‘plot’ to steal the item out of the safe. On Saturday night or Sunday morning, the two went to the victim’s house and snuck in through the doggy door. The father reported that his son knew where the victim’s gun was kept, and said that ‘when the victim came into the house, Justin ran after him and stabbed him,’ and then stated that ‘then, Gabe heard a gunshot.’ He reported that his son told him that he went out to the garage to get the ‘item’ out of the safe when he heard a second gunshot. The father reported that his son told him the firearm used in the incident was ditched near his home.
Authorities determined McCaw was shot in the head and torso and was stabbed multiple times in the abdomen.
Gabriel Davies allegedly described the bikers as members of a “specific outlaw motorcycle club,” and he told authorities that the bikers followed him on Wednesday and took him out of his vehicle, where the vehicle was later found abandoned.
“Defendant Davies told his father that the blood in his truck was from bikers smashing his face against the interior of the car,” authorities reportedly wrote, according to KCPQ. “They also reportedly put him in a Suburban and [d]rove him around, roughing him up before releasing him. The father also said that the motorcycle club members took his shirt and shoes, and then purportedly went through his truck looking for whatever item had been stolen from the victim. Defendant Davies told his father that they never actually stole anything.”
[Image of Davies in his football gear via Thurston County Sheriff’s Office; screenshot of Davies and Yoon in court via The News Tribune]
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