FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Fort Worth Police say they’ve cracked the six-year-old cold case of a 58-year-old woman who was found beaten to death inside a vacant apartment.
Michael Leon Davis Jr. was arrested Thursday and charged with murder.
On December 9, 2005, the body of 58-year-old Gloria Choice was found in the back bedroom of a vacant apartment at the Willows of Woodhaven in the city’s east side.
Choice had been beaten to death.
A lengthy police investigation turned up no suspects. The Choice family started a campaign on their own to look for clues, pass out fliers, and knock on doors, hoping someone would come forward with information.
The lives of Choice’s four adult children changed dramatically after the murder.
Stress brought upon by the unexpected death of their mother sent one sister into a deep depression. The eldest son lost close to 100 pounds after the incident. The family said they also became distrustful of people.
“Sleepless nights, you know, worrying about who did it. Did we know them?” said Scotti Choice, the oldest sibling of four.
After years of searching for the killer, the case went cold.
“A whole piece of me was ripped out and it still is because that’s your mom. You only have one,” said Tawnya Thomas, Gloria Choices youngest daughter. “I can’t call her to say, ‘Hey mom!’ so that bothers me.”
Det. Tom O’Brien reopened the case in 2010.
After processing evidence and interviewing witnesses, O’Brien obtained an arrest warrant for Michael Leon Davis Jr., who happened to be an acquaintance of Gloria Choice.
Scotti Choice said he’d seen Davis Jr. for years walking in the neighborhood.
“We’ve been waiting for six years for this day to come,” said Lashanda Choice.
Though an arrest has been made, it’s only the first step toward peace and justice.
Police did not reveal a motive and family members say they just want to know why.
“I want to just see him, speak to him, ask him why?” said Thomas.
Police are still searching for two more important witnesses in the case.
The Choice family said in the six years since their mother’s death, they never gave up hope their mother’s killer would be found.
“It’s going to get better starting today because I know the man who did this to my mother is locked up,” Lashanda Choice said.
“I think both families are a loss here, mine and his and I just want to pray for him that God will do what’s best,” said Thomas.
Another with information concerning the murder of Gloria Choice is asked to call Fort Worth Police at the department’s non-emergency line, 817.335.4222.
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