Victim’s body still missing

Published 10:15 pm Thursday, August 11, 2011

Randy Pugh, chief deputy at the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department, believes investigators are closing in. He said he believes they know the area and are close to giving a local family much-needed closure.

The search for the body of 71-year-old Jimmy Davenport is entering its third week, but according to Pugh, investigators think they are close.

“Every mile we search is a mile closer to giving this family closure,” Pugh said. “We have another round of searches planned for Saturday and are really going to knock out a lot of area.”

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Pugh said investigators are gaining confidence they are searching the right area and have used search dogs and other means to find Davenport’s body.

The search for the body began in late July after authorities took Natasha Davenport and Joseph Howell into custody in connection for the February murder of the elderly Davenport.

According to testimony in an initial court hearing, Natasha admitted killing her father in February and then, with the help of her boyfriend, Howell, disposed of the body in a “ravine or off a cliff.”

Pugh said the two suspects have been cooperative in providing investigators information on where the body was reportedly dumped.

“Over the past few weeks, they have been very cooperative and things are starting to come back to them on where they dumped the body,” Pugh said. “Hopefully we can get these remains back to the family very soon.”

Natasha Davenport remains in custody under a $3 million bond, while Howell remains in jail under a $1 million bond.
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