New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 16, 2011, New Braunfels, Texas
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"See that noise it makes? It hits that chair,” he said. "I would have noticed that.”
In addition, a string of scent-alerting dogs brought to the area by local and federal law enforcement agencies — including specially trained bloodhounds from the state’s prison system — have failed to pick up the youngster’s scent outside of the yard, the elder Davis said.
“We know someone had to pick him up and carry him off ... He would never wander off, and all the bloodhounds and cadaver dogs and K-9s never picked up any scent of him outside of the yard," Davis said.
Friend won’t take polygraph
After more than a week of worry, Joshua’s father has become suspicious of even his closest friends.
The night Joshua disappeared, a friend who had been watching the Celtics-Maver-icks basketball game with the family left just before Joshua’s absence was noticed, he said.
That friend has declined to take a polygraph test, he said. Police asked Davis not to release his friend’s name.
“I’ve known him for six or eight years. It’s kind of hard to believe he’d play any role in this,” the father said.
Davis said after family members searched throughout the home after 8 p.m. that night, he called his friend to see if he had any idea what happened to the boy.
Unlike the rest of the family’s friends, the man declined to help look for the missing tot, and Davis hasn’t seen him since Feb. 4, he said.
“I sure would hate to think that (the friend is involved in Joshua’s disappearance) — he hasn’t taken a lie detector test. Everyone who was here has taken one, except my girlfriend because she’s pregnant. They asked him, and he wouldn’t take a lie detector test.
“I don’t see why my friend didn’t want to come search for Joshua. My sister came from a whole other state.”
‘Someone out there has my son’
Davis said he’s got a very strong feeling that his boy is out there, with someone, and alive.
“I know someone out there has my son... I feel like I know he’s out there alive, somewhere ... Someone is scared to come forward.
"They weren’t scared to do the wrong thing, I don’t see how they’re scared to do the right thing,” he said.
So what kind of person would snatch a little 18-month-old child from his parents?
“A heartless person. That's the only thing I can think of — a sick, heartless person,” he said.
“I don't want to see his face,
I don’t want to meet him, I don’t want to see him. I just want him to return him to someone who can return Joshua safe to us... Honestly, I don’t even care if they get prosecuted — all I want is my son back.”
Joshua A. Davis feels certain of one thing: for a toddler to vanish without a trace, there has to have been a conspiracy. “I feel in my heart that more
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six months. The deadline for filings is March 14.
Applications for the CISD ballot are available at the Support Services Administration Offices, 1404 Interstate 35 North, from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays. For information, call (830) 221-2000. Applications for the NBISD ballot are available at the district offices at 430 W. Mill St., from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. For information, call (830) 643-5700.
Early voting for each race with be May 2-11 at Comal County Courthouse. The general election will be 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 14.
than one person is behind this. I don't see how one person can pull this off," he said.
“Maybe they’re trying to get my son back to me without the police knowing ... but everything comes to light.”
‘A scary, crazy nightmare’
The young family — Davis is 23; his girlfriend, Josh’s mother, Sabrina Benitez, is 21 — is in a difficult situation: worried about one missing son — and expecting another baby boy in two weeks.
What’s holding them together is faith, Davis said, adding he and Sabrina attend New Creations Christian Fellowship in San Antonio.
“I have to keep my head up and pray God’s going to bring my son home safe and sound and whole,” he said.
“I’ve been praying for a speedy return, and hoping for the best. My darkest fear is my son not returning, but I’ve got so much faith in God, it lifts me up."
He continued: “It’s a scary, crazy nightmare — it’s been a roller coaster ride, and it seems unreal... It’s something you never think is going to happen to you until it happens.
“Keep us in your prayers, and pray for the safe return of our son. And please keep your eyes and ears open — every little bit helps. Hopefully, the detectives will have something for us soon.
“I trust in God. I know they say we can trust in the police, we can trust in the FBI, we can trust in the Texas Rangers — but I trust in God,” Davis said.
The night of Feb. 4
Born Aug. 16, 2009, Joshua Jayvaughn Davis is blessed with a sunny disposition, his dad said.
“He used to wake me up and give me and my girlfriend a little kiss. And when I’d come home at night, he’d be right here, beating on the door, waiting for me to come in — he’d be smiling, he’d be laughing, and he’d come straight at me,” the elder Davis said, recalling his son's favorite activity—watching the movie “Toy Story 3.”
Joshua A. Davis is a painter who paints custom homes. A 2005 graduate of Canyon High School in New Braunfels, he started working right after high school to support his first son, now 7 and living with the child’s mother.
“She’s just telling us to keep our heads up, and she’s praying for us,” Davis said of his ex’s support.
“I’m really thankful for a great community. I’ve met people I've never thought I
was going to meet, they’ve said, ‘We’re here for the long run with you,’” he said.
Davis said the night baby Joshua went missing, there was a full house, including baby Joshua, Davis’ older son, Davis’ father and his father’s girlfriend and his grandfather and a friend they had over. They were watching the Boston Celtics play the Dallas Mavericks.
The friend left at 8 p.m. Maybe 15 minutes later, Sabrina came in and asked where Joshua was, Davis said.
They started looking through the house—Joshua’s room, the dad's room, the grandpa’s room, the spare room.
He recalled the last time he saw his son, the evening Joshua disappeared.
“Last time I saw my son, he was pulling on my beanie (hat). I told him, ‘Get down!”’ The tot got a sly look on his face, like he was going to tug again on his daddy’s hat.
“I told him, ‘Get down, Junior!’ Then he got down and started running around like he normally does " Davis said.
“This picture was taken just hours before (Joshua disappeared) ... that was exactly what he was wearing,” he said, showing a "Missing” flitter with a picture of the baby in what appears to be a dark plaid shirt.
Police looking into all leads
A steady stream of people who know Joshua have been interviewed by law enforcement agencies, including anyone who has been at the Davis house before or who has seen Joshua or been around him, Davis said.
“Some detectives are spending the whole shift, giving lie detector tests and interrogating people.
Davis himself spent Super Bowl Sunday—just two days into the investigation — at New Braunfels Police Department, he said.
“They had me up there literally all day,” he said.
At New Braunfels Police Department, all scenarios — and all leads — are being followed up on, said Lt. Michael Penshom.
“We have to look at all the different possibilities ... We’ll figure it out,” he said.
Penshom said he couldn’t elaborate on who had been given lie detector tests or interviewed, but he did say several individuals had been interviewed several times.
“We’re committed to locating him and finding out exactly what happened,” Pen-shorn said.
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ing positions, as well as a 10 percent cut in departmental budgets. Along with reductions in central administration, maintenance and operations and support services, Walker’s plan still would leave Comal ISD $1.6 million short of its goal.
There were no action items on the agenda, just a frank dialogue between Walker and board members. All acknowledged that teacher losses will hurt the most. Comal ISD has 1,300 teachers and even more paraprofessional staff members, and both of those areas will be subject to deep cuts.
At the elementary level, class sizes would increase after 42 eliminated positions, sav-ing $2.31 million. Middle schoolers would see their classes expanded after 23 teachers were cut, at a cost of $1.26 million. And the three high schools would lose 29
teaching positions, saving another $1.59 million.
Athletics, which would see a reduction of athletic periods and have football coaches spend more time teaching, was the focus of much discussion. Comal ISD has no plans to employ a reduction in force (RIF), which would give the district authority to eliminate teaching positions in a financial emergency, and Walker advised avoiding doing so unless the district faces that worst-case scenario.
Walker prefaced his presentation by outlining the state’s situation. Texas will lose between $27 and $31 billion this year alone, and an increasing number of state legislators are advocating using some of the money in what’s called the “Rainy Day Fund” — a nest egg of between $8 and $9 billion — to help offset the losses in education.
Some quick figuring was done, and board vice-president Frank Baker was
Herald-Zeitung — Page 5
informed that Comal ISD has contributed $38.7 million to the fund since 2006.
“I want to make sure everyone knows that,” he said.
Board members will next meet in regular session at 6 p.m. Feb. 24. Communications director Julie Jerome said the public is invited to attend and comment during the session.
No public meetings or forums are scheduled on budget issues, she said.
Baker and trustee David Spencer were vocal about soliciting volunteer and outside help in easing the losses in staff, to which Walker commented Comal ISD currently does so in certain areas. The idea was just one of many tossed around on Tuesday, and Spencer said all suggestions to help would be welcome, and that any idea is worth looking into.
“1 m just asking everyone to think outside the box,” Spencer said. “We’re certainly facing some angst right now.”
Mubarak loyalist becomes Egypt’s transition leader
CAIRO (AP)—AU.S.diplomatic cable reported that the defense minister was known as “Mubarak’s poodle,” a derisive reference to his unswerv-ing loyalty to the former authoritarian president.
Yet huge crowds of Egyptians who demonstrated for 18 days against Hosni Mubarak’s rule saw Defense Minister Hussein Tantawi and his troops as their savior. They appealed to the military to intervene in Egypt’s crisis, and the generals did.
Tantawi, the head of the ruling council that took power from Mubarak on Friday is the new leader of what many Egyptians hope will be a radical transformation of their nation. The 75-year-old career soldier will be one of the most scrutinized figures in Egypt in the months ahead when his
EGYPT: MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD PLANS POLITICAL PARTY
CAIRO (AP) — The long banned Muslim Brotherhood said Tuesday it will form a political party once democracy is established in Egypt but promised not to field a candidate for president, trying to allay fears at home and abroad that it seeks power. Still, the fundamentalist movement is poised to be a significant player in the new order.
council has promised to steer the country toward a democratic system, sealed by elections.
But he is an unlikely steward for the task, a man said to be resistant to change and out of touch with the younger officer corps.
“Tantawi and the army gave
a strong message to the public and Mubarak: We are with the people and their legitimate demands,” said Abdullah el-Sinnawi, editor-in-chief of el-Araby, an opposition weekly newspaper. “He managed to unify the army under his command,” el-Sinnawi added. Some low- and middle-ranking officers did not hide their sympathy for the protesters, cheering and mingling with demonstrators.
The generally positive reviews of the military’s actions, coming so soon after they took power, surprised some who thought Tantawi lacked the reflex for change.
On Tuesday, the Armed Forces Supreme Council said a panel of experts would craft constitutional amendments so as to allow free elections later this year.
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