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Few leads in case of slain construction worker

Fred Davis told Mary Herber when she was just 13 years old that he was going to marry her. And when Mary turned 18, he made good on that promise, convincing her to elope in the Upper Marlboro courthouse after his third proposal.

Mary Herber became Mary Davis. She and Fred spent more than 30 years together, improved four homes and raised two daughters. Life was good.

Then, on Sept. 3, Fred, 53, was gunned down in a Forestville home where he was building an office and a bathroom for the brother of a friend of his, according to his wife and police. The case is still unsolved.

On Thursday night, Mary will hold a candlelight vigil for her husband at the scene of his slaying in hopes that someone with information might come forward.

John Updike
Fred Davis. (Prince George's County police.)

“I really want to know why and who,” Mary Davis said in a phone interview Wednesday. “Not knowing and feeling like I should be doing something, it’s hard. And this is the best I can do.”

Investigators believe Fred Davis was an innocent victim, perhaps just in the wrong place at the wrong time. But they have few leads, said Officer Henry Tippett, a Prince George’s police spokesman.

The home-business where Davis was working had been vandalized in the past, and Tippett said investigators were exploring whether that might be connected to the homicide. Police also re-released a surveillance video this week captured around the time of the incident, but Tippett said detectives have no idea who it shows.

“It’s still wide open,” Tippett said. “They really have nothing to really go on.”

Mary Davis, 51, said she and her husband were most recently living in Dunkirk with their adult daughter and her son. She said Fred, a carpenter who at one time owned his own business, was doing independent construction work. He enjoyed hunting and golfing, and in his 20s, 30s and 40s, he was professional rodeo rider, she said.

Mary Davis said Fred was doing a favor for a friend the day he was shot in Forestville. She said she still remembers her last phone call to her husband, not an hour before he died, when she asked for simple advice on a problem with her car. She said she can’t believe what happened.

“You’ve known somebody for all these years and they’re gone,” she said. “You wish this was all a make believe story.”

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Prince George's County Police Department's Homicide Unit at (301) 772-4925. Callers wishing to remain anonymous can call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411 TIPS (8477).

-- Matt Zapotosky

By Matt Zapotosky  |  December 3, 2009; 1:29 PM ET
Categories:  Crime, Seen , Matt Zapotosky , Pr. George's , Unsolved  | Tags: Forestville, Fred Davis, Mary Davis, unsolved murder  
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Why do I need to watch a Bank of America ad for thirty seconds before the crime scene video?

Posted by: MKadyman | December 3, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: chips66sray | December 4, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

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