Po­lice doubt dad’s story of ac­ci­dent

Grand­mom, cousin also face charges in baby’s death

San Antonio Express-News - - FRONT PAGE - By Em­i­lie Ea­ton and Caleb Downs STAFF WRIT­ERS

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.”

‘An ac­ci­dent’

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.”

Kin Man Hui / Staff pho­tog­ra­pher

Di­ana Con­tr­eras, cen­ter, holds a sign with the im­age of baby King Jay Dav­ila.

Bob Owen / Staff pho­tog­ra­pher

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.

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