November 19th, 2011, was a Saturday in Marietta, Ohio, and like thousands of other 20-year-old women around the country, Jaleayah Davis decided to spend it with friends. She left the family home at around 5 pm and kept in touch with her mother, Kim, and sister Taubi via text throughout the night.
Though she had initially planned to stay at a friend’s house, at 3:28 am, Taubi received a call from Jaleayah asking her to come and pick her up from a nearby gas station. In the background, Taubi heard her sister asking someone to give her her keys.
Just minutes later, Jaleayah called back – and this time, something had changed. Now, she was audibly hysterical, cursing and calling her friend names. She changed the location of the pick-up, asking Taubi to meet her at a rest stop instead stop off Interstate 77. Naturally, Taubi asked her what was wrong, and Jaleayah told her that she would explain when she got there. What happened in the next 15 minutes remains a mystery to this day.
At 3:48, emergency operators received a call from a truck driver who had made a devastating discovery as he drove down the interstate. It was Jaleayah’s body, naked from the waist up, with injuries that can only be described as horrific. Her leg was broken, her right breast was missing, and worst of all, she had been decapitated. Police arrived within minutes, but not before Taubi, who had gone looking for her sister, came across the grisly scene. Though it wasn’t clear what had happened, it was obvious that this was no ordinary accident.
Her bra, top, and coat were draped, in that order, over a guardrail, the coat visibly stained with blood. Further down the road, Jaleayah’s car was found, still running. The car was in gear and locked, with the headlights on and the driver’s side airbag deployed. Yet, for such a horrific accident, the damage to the car seemed relatively inconsequential. The windscreen was still intact, though the passenger side window was smashed. The doorpost to the passenger’s side was cracked, and blood stained the trunk.
After almost a year and a half of investigation, police officially ruled Jaleayah’s death as accidental, stating she had been driving under the influence of alcohol and wasn’t wearing a seatbelt when she hit the guardrail with her car. The force ejected her through the passenger side window, where she struck the guardrail, killing her instantly. Her body flipped over her vehicle and into the other lane, where she was struck again by a tractor-trailer.
The case may have been officially closed, but many questions remain. For Jaleayah’s family and others in the Marietta community, the evidence doesn’t add up – from a lack of damage to the guardrail and car to the strange way police discovered her clothing. Jaleayah’s mother, Kim, is convinced that someone is covering up a murder. And she’s not going to stop until she finds out who.
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