By Kara Thomas | NOVEMBER 6, 2015
The Hard Line on Crime
with Brenda Dean

Take a closer look at the case that turned a small town into national news.

IN light of a grisly discovery along I-70 in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, investigators are taking a closer look at the cases of two women who went missing in the area over the past two years.

Police have confirmed that the remains found by the Ohio River earlier this month belong to Kristal Lynn Davis, 24. Davis went missing after leaving her shift at Jolly Roger’s Lounge on I-70 in April.

Kim Rhodes, Davis’s mother, described her daughter as a sometime drug user who is prone to disappearing for long periods of time. However, Rhodes, who has custody of Davis’s young son, became concerned when four weeks went by without word from Kristal. When Ms. Rhodes contacted Davis’s manager, she learned that her daughter hadn’t been in to work in weeks. “I knew something had happened to her when she didn’t come back for her baby boy," Rhodes said. “Nothing could keep her away from him for that long.”

Police are exploring a possible connection between Davis and two other missing women. All three were last seen alive within a few miles of the Mason Truck Stop on I-70. According to a missing persons report filed two years ago, Marisa Perez, 19, ran away from her home in Sandy Valley, Nevada. She had been spotted at truck stops in Ohio and Pennsylvania using the alias “Leah” before disappearing in November. James Felice, of Pittsburgh, says his daughter Rae Michelle Felice was last seen in April. Ms. Felice was scheduled to meet her father at the truck stop to check in to a substance abuse clinic. “When she didn’t show, I thought she’d changed her mind,” says James Felice. “It wasn’t until I didn’t hear from her for a few days that I knew something was wrong.”

Mr. Felice has been critical of the police’s efforts to find his daughter, citing a lack of movement on the case for several months. He hopes the media attention into the murder of Kristal Davis will ignite new interest in his daughter’s case.

Sources close to law enforcement have confirmed that police have questioned an acquaintance of Kristal Davis’s and named him a “person of interest” in her murder. A source who wished not to be named identified the man as Wyatt Paul Stokes, 24, of Fayette. Davis was seen visiting Stokes’s trailer the day she was last seen alive. Police have not released a cause of death, but have ruled it a homicide.

A police spokesperson has cautioned the public to remain vigilant, but not to be concerned. “It’s too early to tell if these women are connected,” he says. “Though rest assured we’re taking their disappearances as seriously as anyone else’s."


Kara Thomas can be reached on kara-thomas.com Follow her on Twitter@karatwrites