PIERCE COUNTY, Wash. (TCD) — A 16-year-old went from missing to murder suspect in the space of about a week because investigators allege he faked his disappearance and killed his mother’s ex-boyfriend.
Gabriel Davies, 16, was reported missing Aug. 31 to the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office, who said he disappeared “under suspicious circumstances.” He reportedly left his home in Olympia that day to attend football practice at his high school, but never showed up. His car, however, was near the 15000 block of Tilley Road South.
Davies was reportedly seen walking alone that night, and he was found the next day, September 1, at 10 p.m.
Also on September 1, Pierce County Sheriff’s Office deputies conducted a welfare check at a home in the 21700 block of East 190th Street in Orting because a 51-year-old man had failed to show up at work for several days. Deputies gained access to the house and found the man deceased from a gunshot wound, but no firearms were found. KCPQ-TV identified the victim as Daniel McCaw.
The Pierce County Sheriff’s Office said investigators arrested two 16-year-old men on Friday, Sept. 2, for second-degree murder, first-degree burglary and unlawful possession of a firearm. Davies would also face a charge of first degree murder.
Davies, who had just been found, was one of those two people. The other has been identified as Justin Yoon.
According to the probable cause affidavit, when deputies visited McCaw’s home on September 1, they “smelt what they thought was the odor of a decomposing body emanating from the closed front door of the House”. They also allegedly saw a dog running outside through a dog door.
Deputies found an unlocked door leading to the utility room and “noted possible blood splatter on the washing machine or dryer”.
When they entered further into the room, they discovered McCaw’s body surrounded by a “significant amount of blood”.
Fire department officials arrived and found a casing near McCaw as well as a gunshot wound to the temple. The affidavit says investigators initially thought he might have died by suicide, but that was ruled out once it became clear that McCaw had been both stabbed and shot.
The medical examiner noted that McCaw suffered gunshot wounds to the head and abdomen and multiple stab wounds and defensive wounds all over his body.
McCaw’s body reportedly began to decompose and “maggots were visible along the neck and shoulders”. Detectives found an empty rifle magazine on the flood along with “numerous rifle cases and ammunition reloading equipment” in the house.
Detectives learned during the investigation that McCaw had dated Davies’ mother. Yoon’s father reportedly called deputies to report he had information about a crime allegedly involving Davies.
According to the affidavit, investigators began to notice holes in Davies’ story. When Davies was found after his alleged disappearance, however, detectives “noted that Davies had no injuries to his feet or lower extremities that would be consistent with having walked in the woods for 36 hours”.
Davies’ car which was found on Tilley Road reportedly had damage to the exterior as well as “suspected blood” on the steering wheel and door panel.
Davies’ father also reportedly called a Thurston County detective to say his son had a hand in McCaw’s death. The father allegedly claimed McCaw’s “biker buddies” approached Davies to steal something from McCaw’s house and threatened him if he didn’t.
According to Davies’ father, Yoon and Davies broke into the house through a dog door and Yoon stabbed McCaw. Davies allegedly “heard a gunshot” as he walked to the garage to remove an item from McCaw’s safe. The teenagers allegedly disposed of the gun near the house.
The alleged ‘biker buddies’ were said to have been ‘members of a specific outlaw motorcycle club’ who pulled Davies out of his car, and he claimed the blood found inside the vehicle was from ‘the bikers him breaking [Davies’] face against the inside of the car.”
During his arrest, Davies allegedly showed detectives where he and Yoon got rid of the guns they stole from McCaw’s house. Detectives also found a “small bag containing 12 throwing knives, another pouch containing six throwing knives and three other knives which were still in their sheaths”.
Jail records show Davies and Yoon are both being held on $1 million bail.
DAILY TRUE CRIME: THE PODCAST covers high-profile, under-the-radar cases every week. Subscribe to our YouTube page for podcasts, exclusive videos, and more, and don’t forget to follow us on TikTok.