Arthur Raymond Davis has been identified as the lead suspect in the August 31, 1983 rape and murder of 20-year-old Susan Eads in Seabrook, Texas. The case has been cleared by exception due to the death of Davis.
Eads was working as a waitress in the Prickly Bear Bar in this small waterfront community on Galveston Bay. She was last seen leaving work on the night of her death. She had been seen at the bar that evening with a man in a cowboy hat. A police sketch was made at the time using witness descriptions, but the man was never identified. That sketch appears very similar to a picture of Ray Davis taken at about that time.
Eads was found the next morning in an empty lot. She was naked and bound, her clothing had been wound around her neck and tightened with a stick as a tourniquet, which was tightened until she died. After the murder, Eads mother was taunted by phone calls from a man claiming to be her daughter’s killer.
The case was reopened for modern forensic testing in 2017. Semen was recovered from her clothing and a DNA profile was created. There is currently no information on who conducted the FGG investigation, but the FBI is reported as having assisted the police in Texas with the investigation.
Davis was a former member of the armed forces who had served in Vietnam. An estranged relative assisted police to confirm the identity of Davis as the source of the DNA found on Eads’ body. Davis died in a car accident in 1983, just a few months after Eads’ murder. Police continue to investigate him for further crimes.
Texas Department of Public Safety. “Texas Rangers Cold Case Investigations Details: Susan Eads.” Texas Department of Public Safety, 2020. Accessed December 13, 2020. https://www.dps.texas.gov/coldCase/Home/Details/216.
Vault Studios. True Crime Chronicles. “Strangled in Seabrook, Episode 69.” Podcast. Apple. Aired October 4, 2020. 38 Minutes.
White, Grace. “Finding a Killer: How DNA Helped Solve a Seabrook Cold Case Murder.” KHOU-11 News, June 11, 2020. Accessed December 13, 2020. https://www.khou.com/article/news/investigations/missing-pieces/susan-eads-murder-solved-seabrook-police-department-missing-pieces/285-89de486f-a2c2-499d-86aa-cd8d1a0e4541.
White, Grace. “How a 1983 Seabrook Woman’s Murder Case Was Cracked Decades Later.” KHOU 11 News, Accessed December 13, 2020. https://www.khou.com/article/news/investigations/missing-pieces/susan-eads-misisng-pieces-podcast/285-1042a429-bf22-4ab6-99a1-25474f142e1c