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Missing Richland County woman found dead in trunk of her car in Galloway after 18-day search

Her ex-boyfriend, John Henry Mack Jr., was charged with kidnapping and could face additional charges once the investigation into her death concludes.

MANSFIELD, Ohio — A search for a missing woman from Mansfield has come to a tragic end. The Richland County Sheriff’s Office says the body of 33-year-old Melinda Davis was found in the trunk of her car in Galloway more than one hour from where she was last seen.

Sheriff J. Steve Sheldon says his office received a call from the Columbus police on March 14 at 6:15 p.m. about a tip from a citizen, 18 days since they launched their investigation. 

Police located her black 2013 Volkswagen Jetta vehicle on Zachary Court in Galloway.

“The vehicle was brought back to Richland County to be processed by Ohio BCI and Melinda Davis’ body was found in the trunk of the vehicle,” said Sheldon. “The family was notified this morning.”

Sheldon said an autopsy was conducted Monday morning at the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.

Shelby Police and Richland County Sheriffs initially responded to 592 Cliffside Dr. in Mansfield on February 25 after Davis was reported missing. John Henry Mack Jr., her ex-boyfriend, lives at that location. Sheldon said a search warrant was obtained.

“Based on their investigation, and collection and processing of evidence and after consulting with the Richland County Prosecutor’s Office, detectives obtained an arrest warrant for John Henry Mack Jr.,” said Sheldon.

Mack Jr. remains at the Richland County Jail. The Richland County Prosecutor, Gary D. Bishop, said most of the evidence collected was ‘primarily blood.’

Credit: Richland County Sheriff's Office
A booking photo of John Mack.

“He remains charged with kidnapping,” said Bishop. “He’s also charged with receiving stolen property for an unrelated matter. Obviously, the charges and the number of charges will be determined at a later date. Once this investigation is fully completed.”

Bishop says two other people face obstruction of justice charges.

“Those two other individuals are still charged,” said Bishop. “They will continue to go through the process. It’s too early to determine if other people will be involved.”

Investigators could not release a potential motive at this time but have said they are is seeing an increase in domestic violence cases.

“Without saying to much about this case we are all very concerned about domestic violence in this county,” said Sheldon.

“They should call law enforcement, they should call 9-1-1, they should call my victim advocates, they should call my office,” said Bishop. “They should call someone, and report instances of abuse or domestic violence is suspected. Anyone who values human life should do that.”

Sheriff Sheldon says it was important for them to release this primary information to the public when it became available and expects more information to come as the investigation continues in the coming weeks.

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