"Community grieves loss of friend, peace of mind"
June 11, 2008 · Updated 10:58 AM
"Ruth Davison's presence will be missed at the long row of mailboxes where everyone in the tranquil Illahee Shores trailer park checks the mail and says hello.As the Kitsap County Sheriff's Office pieces together the circumstances leading to Davison's death, the Illahee Shores community is reeling from the murder. The 90-year-old woman was beaten and strangled in her home June 16.I didn't know she was 90 ... she got around. We said hi at the mailbox, said Billy Jackson, 58, a retiree who lives up the hill from Davison's mobile home.We can watch TV shows all we want, but when it happens 30 feet or 40 feet away, it's time to stop and smell the coffee, he added.Jackson and his fiancé, Rachel Woodall, 54, moved to Illahee Shores five years ago. After living in New York and Washington, D.C., he found it peaceful and quiet. It's like a community of serenity. This was that type of place. Now, we're getting ready to move, he said.In fact, some at the park already have put up For Sale signs. Everybody's in grief. It hurts. It's shocking and it hurts, Jackson said.At about 11 a.m. Friday, June 16, sheriff's deputies found a car registered in Davison's name in a ditch near her home on Northeast Rue Villa. The car was discovered halfway down a 40-foot embankment with its engine running.After making several attempts to contact Davison, deputies were considering calling a search and rescue team to look for her in the area surrounding the car. They first called her son to unlock the door to her pink mobile home, where she was found dead.I have a lot of sympathy for that family, Jackson said. It's bad enough to go to a funeral. Nothing on this planet is worth taking a life for.There was no sign of a forced entry into the home, which Davison normally kept locked, said Sheriff Steve Boyer.Neighbors have had their sense of security shaken by Davison's murder. Jackson and Woodall were the only neighborhood residents outside June 19, when they were tending the yard in front of their unit. Jackson said everyone has pretty much stayed indoors since the police tape went up.Everywhere I look, I see death. Those yellow tapes mess with my head every time I go to my mailbox, Jackson said. He said they used to sleep with their doors open and unlocked. Now, he can't sleep at all. Noises from his creaking home and raccoons rustling around outside make him think somebody's out here lurking, he said.Though the sheriff's office has no suspects, they are continuing interviews with people of interest, including family members and associates, according to Boyer. Jackson said he's certain police will catch the murderer. I told my fiancé, they're going to catch 'em. There's no perfect murder, he said. There's good and evil on this planet, and good comes out on top. If they can catch the Oklahoma bomber in one day ...Detectives are expected to finish gathering information at the mobile home within the next two days.I hope when they catch these people that did this, I don't want them to take their life. I want them to put them in a cell and put a picture of her in there and a picture of her home. That's worse than death, Jackson said. Don't let them off that easy ... a two second injection.The community will heal, Jackson and Woodall agreed, but it will take time. We hope people get a sense of knowing that we cared about each other, he said. Jackson said he remembers one year when it snowed. Davison was prepared, he said, while everybody else had to scramble to the Red Apple Market to stock up on groceries. She was laughing at all the youngsters trying to get up the hill, he said. The little lady knew everybody around here.Investigators are asking anyone who might have information to call Detective Jim Harris at 337-7101."