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Trucker charged in '96, '98 murders of 2 KCK women; officials say there could be more victims

Posted: 5:58 PM, Sep 20, 2023
Updated: 2023-09-22 17:47:23-04
Christina King and Sameemah Mussawir

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A long-haul truck driver was recently arrested for the 1996 and 1998 murders of two Kansas City, Kansas, women, and investigators are looking into whether he's linked to other cold cases, officials said Wednesday.

KCKPD Police Chief Karl Oakman and Wyandotte County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Dupree made the announcements during an update on KCKPD's Cold Case Unit.

KCK has a significant number of unsolved homicides, Chief Oakman says they date back to six decades.

The police department started a cold case squad which went into effect January 2022.

On Wednesday, the KCK police department said they identified suspects in 11 cold cases, and in a news conference detailed four cases. The department said its a sign of what's to come.

“It may not be today, tomorrow, in fact, it may not be this year but there will be a time when you’re in the drive-thru line or the grocery store where we will eventually get you," said Chief Oakman.

Murder cases of Christina King and Sameemah Mussawir

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Gary Dion Davis Sr. is charged with second-degree murder in the deaths of Christina King and Sameemah Mussawir.

On Dec. 25, 1998, King's body was found behind an abandoned building in KCK.

Investigators recovered items at the crime scene and sent them to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

On Nov. 22, 1996, Mussawir's body was located inside a home in KCK.

DNA evidence gathered at both scenes was linked to Davis, according to Dupree.

At the time of their murders, a second-degree murder charge was an off-grid person felony, therefore Davis is charged with those and faces life in prison if convicted.

"These charges are the result of the hard work of the Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department and the cold case squad," Dupree said.

Oakman said Wednesday Davis worked as a truck driver and investigators are looking into whether he's a suspect in other cases.

"We are continuing to investigate that suspect for other possible cold cases in the Kansas City metro area, as well as within the United States," Oakman said. “In my experience based on him killing two women, most likely he’s killed more.”

Arvetta Davis, Mussawir's niece, is still processing her death.

“I don’t even know why he came across her path," Davis said. “My aunt sewed, she had a transportation business running people up to Chillicothe correctional, she worked as an SRS driver, she had a daycare, she sold dinners, she sold bean pies, she was involved in her family lives, she did it all.”

Mussawir leaves behind two daughters and a large family.

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Oakman and Dupree couldn't immediately provide more information on those cases.

Murder of Dion Estell

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Two other cases were also discussed during Wednesday's announcement.

On July 22, 1997, 16-year-old Dion Estell was found shot to death lying in a creek.

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The scene of July 22, 1997

Earlier this year, detectives were tipped off that Leon Caldwell, who is currently an inmate at the Lansing State Prison, serving a murder sentence, admitted to killing Estell.

Oakman said Caldwell requested a meeting with detectives during which he admitted to details that only the killer would know and he was later charged with the murder of Estell.

Oakman said Caldwell is currently in hospice.

“He felt that, this confession he needed to get this off of his chance and although it’s not comforting to the family he said he wanted the family to know this before he passed," Oakman said.

"I’m still not at closure, I never will," said Lillie Estell, Dion's mother. "I will never see what my child will grow up to be, I don’t know any of that stuff. He's been gone a long time and I still miss him.”

“He was the baby brother," said Daniel Estell, Dion's older brother. “He was a kid, he didn’t deserve it. It was a relief, but I wish it came a lot sooner.”

Baby Girl Jane Doe

The fourth case discussed involved an infant, referred to as Baby Girl Jane Doe, found dead inside of dumpster at a KCK apartment complex on Nov. 16, 1976.

Responding officers located the baby girl with her umbilical cord still attached.

At the time of the murder, detectives discovered that a teenager had been visiting her mother for Thanksgiving and left the area two days after the baby girl was found.

Over the years, family of the infant told investigators the infant belonged to the teen.

In 2022, detectives were able to locate the teen, who is now in her 60s and obtained DNA, which linked her to the infant.

She admitted to giving birth to the baby, but that her grandmother took the baby and walked away.

Based on evidence, detectives identified the grandmother, who has since died, as the suspect in the infant's death.

Oakman said because of the statute of limitations and her death, no charges were brought.