Police doubt dad’s story of accident
Grandmom, cousin also face charges in baby’s death
Now that the body of a missing 8-month-old infant has been found, investigators are increasing the pressure on the boy’s family to discover how exactly he died and who knew about it.
Christopher Davila, 34, changed his story after first claiming that his son, King Jay Davila, had been kidnapped, a plot that police discredited quickly. Now, he says King Jay died after the car seat holding the boy fell off a bed and hit the floor. On Thursday, he led police to the place where he buried the body.
Officials hinted Friday that they do not believe Davila’s latest account either.
“He said King Jay’s death was an accident,” Police Chief William McManus said Friday. “He panicked and did not call 911.”
Davila, who has a lengthy criminal record and was once in prison, was charged Friday with injury to a child causing serious bodily injury by omission, a firstdegree felony, along with felon in possession of a firearm and possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine.
He already faced two other charges in connection with King Jay’s disappearance, including child endangerment and tampering with evidence.
He is being held in Bexar County Jail in lieu of $1.25 million bail.
Davila’s mother, Beatrice Sampayo, 65, and his cousin, Angie Torres, 45, also face charges of tampering with evidence for their roles in trying to cover up the death, police said. Investigators have requested arrest warrants for the two women on
charges of injury to a child.
The charges Friday came after Davila led police to an empty field on San Antonio’s Northeast Side and pointed out the area where he had buried King Jay, after he had placed the body in a backpack. It was less than a mile from the home Davila shares with King Jay’s mother, Jasmine Gonzales. Police said Friday that Gonzales, who is pregnant with Davila’s seventh child, is still being investigated.
Dozens gathered near the site Friday to leave flowers and balloons and hold hands to pray. McManus said the death gripped the city due, in part, to the fact that it involved a young child.
“It shocks the conscience to think that someone could do this to an 8month-old, let alone his own child,” McManus said.
The results of an autopsy of King Jay, which was expected Friday, will be significant in determining what happened to the boy.
McManus and recently elected Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales, flanked by other law enforcement officials and an FBI agent, said the investigation is ongoing and additional arrests and charges are possible.
Both applauded investigators who worked tirelessly to unravel the kidnapping plot and find King Jay.
Davila, who stands 5foot-3 and wears the tattoos of a gang member, comes from a large, closeknit family, with several generations living together.
Sampayo, who is only 4foot-11, the mother of four children, said she is dying of cancer. In an interview with the Express-News before her arrest, Sampayo said her son was innocent and was being targeted by police for his past gang affiliation.
“He’s my son,” she said. “To kill someone? I don’t know. I don’t know.”
Davila told police that on Jan. 3 he was playing video games in his room while Jasmine Gonzales was at work.
King Jay was in his baby car seat, which was placed on top of a bed. When he sat down on the bed, Davila said, the car seat fell off.
Davila told police King Jay “hit the floor with his face and may have struck the front of the dresser on the way down.”
He saw a large bump over the boy’s eye. Instead of immediately requesting medical assistance, Davila told police he tried to keep the boy from falling asleep.
He checked on the child a few hours later and discovered King Jay had died.
In an arrest affidavit, this is what police say happened:
At some point that night, Davila called his mother, Beatrice Sampayo, and told her what had happened. A witness overheard the conversation and later told police Davila had talked about “the baby falling and being injured.”
A different witness who was at Davila’s home said he heard King Jay crying the night of Jan. 3. The next morning, between 9 a.m. and noon, he saw Davila leave the home with King Jay in the car seat.
Davila went to his parents’ house on the West Side.
When he arrived, the witness who had overheard the phone conversation between Davila and Sampayo greeted him and asked to see King Jay.
“‘Get the (expletive) back in the house,’ ” the witness recalled Davila saying.
Around the same time, Torres, Davila’s cousin, looked into the car with a “shocked look on her face.”
The witness saw Davila and Sampayo “visibly upset and crying” in the driveway. The two hugged, “which was unusual because they do not normally hug,” he said.
Torres, Sampayo and Davila then conspired to cover up the boy’s death.
About 7 p.m., Davila drove his parents’ 2016 white Dodge Dart to the Friend’s Food Mart on Enrique M. Barrera Parkway to buy water and lottery tickets. Before he went inside, he checked twice to make sure the driver door to the car was unlocked.
Moments after he went into the store, Sampayo pulled up to the gas station with Torres. Torres got out of the car. A surveillance video shows she walked directly to Davila’s vehicle without hesitation, opened the driver’s door, entered the vehicle and drove away.
When Davila came outside, he said he saw the car was missing, as was his son. He called police to report it.
Police rushed to the scene and established a quadrant around the area, searching for the car. They found the Dart a short time later parked near Rodriguez Park, but King Jay was no where to be found. The car seat also was missing.
Investigators questioned Davila and he told them King Jay had been staying with Sampayo since Dec. 31 and that he had picked the child up on Jan. 4 to take him home.
But when detectives showed him the video from the gas station, Davila clammed up and “refused to cooperate further.” Police arrested him on a charge of endangering a child on Jan. 5.
Meanwhile, Torres drove the Dart to Rodriguez Park, where Sampayo met her. Torres took the car seat with her and got into Sampayo’s car.
Torres later told investigators that she and Sampayo drove to the 700 block of South Acme Street, where Sampayo dumped the car seat at a donation shed. They drove off, only to return a minute later to retrieve the car seat and leave it three blocks away at Guthrie and S.W. 41st Street.
Officials say security camera video from the area confirmed Torres’ story.
At a press conference Monday, McManus told reporters that King Jay’s “kidnapping” was a ruse to cover up foul play. The next morning, police arrested Torres on an unrelated robbery charge.
On Wednesday, Torres requested an interview with police from her jail cell and allegedly confessed to the staged kidnapping. Her confession led to the arrest of Sampayo and rearrest of Davila, who had bailed out of jail the week prior.
During interviews with police Thursday night, Davila confessed to police and agreed to show them where he had buried the boy’s body.
“When his story started to unravel … it’s when he broke down,” McManus said. “His story weakened and he figured he wasn’t going to get away with it.”
That’s when he revealed the burial site.
“After digging, investigators located a black backpack with what appeared to be an infant’s body wrapped in a blanket placed inside,” the affidavit states.
Police then secured an arrest warrant for Davila on a charge of injury to a child by omission because he “intentionally and knowingly failed to seek medical attention for the serious injuries” King Jay suffered.
Authorities also requested the warrants for Sampayo and Torres.
Many questions regarding King Jay’s death remain, including how many people knew of his death and went along with the staged kidnapping.
“This is not the finish line, in fact, the hard part of the investigation is just beginning,” McManus said. “The investigation won’t be finished until we can answer how exactly King Jay died, who knew it, and when they knew it.”
Diana Contreras, center, holds a sign with the image of baby King Jay Davila.
Mourners Sylvia Santana, from left, Diamond Moreno, Margarita Santoya and Mary De La Rosa pray Friday after placing flowers and balloons near where King Jay Davila’s body was found near Rittiman Road.
Christopher Davila’s cousin, Angie Torres, 45, is charged with tampering with evidence in connection with the disappearance of the baby. She also is charged with aggravated robbery unrelated to the baby Davila case.
Christopher Sampayo Davila, 34, faked the kidnapping of his 8-month-old son, King Jay Davila, who was found dead. Charges: injury to a child, endangering a child, drug possession.
Beatrice Sampayo, 65, mother of Christopher Davila and grandmother of King Jay Davila. Police say she helped carry out the faked kidnapping. Charge: tampering with evidence.
King Jay Davila was reported missing at 7 p.m. Jan. 4 from a gas station in the 300 block of Enrique Barrera Parkway.
Jasmine Gonzales, 23, is the mother of King Jay Davila.