Human remains found on Ava farm could be those of missing Rex Davidson
Human remains found by an Ava-area farmer Jan. 13 could be those of Rex Davidson, an Ozark County resident who disappeared Oct. 31, 2018. At this point, officers say foul play has not been ruled out.
Identification of the remains, which are said to have been badly deteriorated when they were found, indicating the individual may have died some time ago, will likely come in the form of results of DNA testing and dental identification, which can take several months.
The Douglas County Sheriff’s Department was alerted to the grisly discovery last week when an area farmer discovered fully clothed human remains as he was brush-hogging his field. The body was reportedly found lying on the ground near a grove of cedar trees a significant distance from the roadway on property off Douglas County Road 402, about 2 miles south of Ava near the Lakey and Lakey Feed store.
According to Ozark County Sheriff Darrin Reed, that spot was almost exactly a half mile from where Davidson was last seen, dropped off by a friend on Highway 5 on Halloween night 2018. Davidson was reportedly living at Indian Oaks Cabins in Isabella at the time.
“We’ve interviewed the woman he was with several times after he went missing. She said he got out of the car and just went walking down the road. It’s something he did on occasion, so it wasn’t that strange,” Reed said. “Her story has been the same each time we’ve talked to her, and there doesn’t seem to be anything suspicious about it. She said he thanked her for being a good friend before he left.”
Reed, along with Ozark County Chief Deputy Winston Collins and Cpl. Curtis Dobbs, have been actively involved in the investigation into David-son’s disappearance and were among the team of law enforcement officers and investigators who responded to the Douglas County scene where the body was found Monday night, Jan. 13.
Officers worked late into the evening and returned Jan. 14 to process the area for clues about who the body belongs to and how that person may have died.
Douglas County Sheriff Chris Degase told KY3 news the day after the remains were found that clothing and shoe sizes found on the human remains do match Davidson’s.
“Things of that nature lead us to believe that it could possibly be our missing subject,” Degase said.
He said his office will continue to investigate the case, and more information will likely be available after an autopsy and DNA testing results are returned from a Springfield lab.
Dobbs said he’s been in contact with Davidson’s family frequently over the past year and a half while involved in the missing-person investigation.
“If this is Rex, it will be good for them to finally have closure,” he said.