Davison case data could take a while

"Investigators looking into the murder of Ruth Davison are waiting on the next link in the chain - results from state crime labs in Olympia and Seattle.While investigators requested a rush on analysis of the evidence, the nature of which has not been released, state crime labs typically focus on evidence for cases going to trial. The Kitsap County Sheriff's Office has yet to find a suspect or make arrests.Basically, they work with the prosecuting attorney and different cases on timing. If you've got a case ... that's moving toward trial, they're going to work on that one, said Eric Robertson, a spokesman for the Washington State Patrol. The Kitsap County Sheriff's Office is offering an $11,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction of Davison's murderer, though King County Detective Jim Doyon said rewards are usually ineffective in solving a crime.We very seldom see rewards work in homicide cases - it's more of window dressing. Rewards just aren't substantial enough to get people to come forward, he said, though he admitted $11,000 was a significant reward.Doyon has been investigating homicides for 17 years. He is one of two remaining investigators monitoring the Green River murders.In 1999, King County had one unsolved murder. So far this year, he said, the county has solved all of its murders.An instructor at the regional police academy, Doyon teaches seasoned deputies how to investigate major crime scenes. He credits a combination of on-going training and team support to King County's high solvability rate.If we have a homicide, we work almost around the clock. We have a lot of up-front effort to solve these, he said.Though old cases don't necessarily become more difficult to solve, they often seem less important as time passes, Doyon said. As time goes on, cases can get cold, or be relegated to a back burner because you have more cases coming in. Detectives constantly have new cases coming in, he said.But because technological advances continue to provide new ways to analyze evidence, investigators are getting a fresh look at old cases. I think - and I'm older and gray and been around a long time - if we had the protocols and the operating methods in 1982 that we have today, we might have solved the Green River case early on.The King County Sheriff's Office generally works between four and eight detectives on a case, but, he ceded, the number of investigators and the amount of training depends on the size of the department - and its budget. The King County Sheriff's Office employs about 106 detectives in several departments. Twelve work in the major crimes unit and there are 14 or 15 in the special assault unit.There are currently 10 detectives at the Kitsap County Sheriff's Office, two of whom are assigned full time to the Davison case. Seven other detectives are providing back-up support, should the two investigators need it.Detective work involves a lot of leg work, he said. There's nothing magical. It's getting out and doing the physical, labor-intensive work that needs to be done. Modern technology helps. Deputies can immediately check alibis using cell phones.Doyon provided a profile of the average perpetrator of a murder like Davison's. He predicted it might be a young male, probably casually known to Davison, who might live in the area. He might have helped her carry groceries or do yard work sometimes, and, at some point, he saw an opportunity.The fact that she was beaten and strangled appears to be an attempt to silence her, he said. They're probably dealing with a disorganized offender. There's a likelihood the strangulation was an attempt to permanently silence the witness/victim.Kitsap County has a tough investigation ahead of it. I would hope they don't lose their momentum on the case. Doing basic investigation tasks that we do every day on routine crimes needs to be done quickly on this type of task and supervisors need to keep everyone on task, he added.As the investigation progresses, detectives remain tight-lipped about the types of evidence found, There are a lot of things about a scene that can speak to us. There are things only the perpetrator and police know."

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