Texas: Franklin Davis, 30 Murdered ex-babysitter Shania Gray, 16: Used fake Facebook ID to arrange meeting
Franklin Davis, 30, of Irvington, Texas allegedly raped 16 year-old Shania Gray two years ago. He had threatened to kill her at the time if she ever told anyone. Eventually, those allegations came to light and Davis was charged with four counts of sexual abuse in July 2011. His trial was coming up next month.
Davis created a Facebook profile, including with a photo of a 17 – 18 year old male and began messaging Shania Gray, eventually telling her he would drop by her school to say hello.
When Gray’s mother, Sherry Gray-James went to pick her up from school on Thursday, she was nowhere to be found. It’s being reported that Franklin Davis shot and killed Shania Gray within an hour of leaving the school with her.
Gray had recently switched schools, from John D. Horn High School in Mesquite to Hebron High School, since her family was planning to move to Carrollton – which was closer to her father’s new workplace.
It was Gray’s second day at her new high school when she went missing, said Sherry Ramsey, who is close friends with Gray’s mother, Sherry Gray-James, and spoke on behalf of the family.
On Thursday afternoon, Gray-James drove to Hebron High School to pick up her daughter, who was being tutored to catch up on the first week of schoolwork. But when she arrived to the school, Gray was not there. She looked around the school, but did not find her daughter.
Instead, police say the teenager was driven away by Davis – a man charged with raping her two years earlier.
The two first met when Gray babysat for Davis’ two children, Ramsey said. Gray’s mother got to know Davis’ wife at massage school. Although Davis and his wife were separated, he would sometimes stop by and visit when Gray was babysitting.
Later, after the teen declined many babysitting requests, Gray told her grandma that Davis had raped her, Ramsey said. Her family reported the rape to Mesquite police and the case is pending in Dallas County. At the time of the sexual assault, Davis threatened her life if Gray told anyone about the rape, Ramsey said.
Davis faces four counts of sexual assault of a child.
“The trial was coming up in October and I think he didn’t want her to testify,” Ramsey said.
On Saturday afternoon, a body was found in the Trinity River on the border of Irving and Dallas, which was later identified as Gray’s.
Carrollton police had arrested Davis on unrelated traffic offenses on Friday and held him in jail. They then began questioning him about Gray’s death and say he confessed to the murder after her body was found.
Police retrieved the weapon, a 38. Calibre pistol, from a nearby pond. Davis was charged with capital murder on Sunday and is being held at Dallas County Jail.
This evening, a vigil is being held for the murdered teenager at John D. Horn High School in Mesquite, Gray’s previous high-school.
Gray was a sports star who competed in three Junior Olympic competitions and played on the basketball team.
She was a straight A student who had a beautiful singing voice, said Ramsay.