Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Bones found in Plant City belong to man, 20, missing since April 2009

TAMPA — Robin Harris called police as soon as she heard that human bones were discovered this week in Plant City.

Since her son disappeared in April, Harris called authorities anytime bones or a body surfaced.

Police said Ryan J. Darkins Davis, then 20, and a friend, Carl Walters, 21, disappeared from Walters' Tampa home on April 5.

Walters was found murdered in the woods in Plant City. His brother, Derrick E. Cullins, who lived with Walters, was charged with the crime. Authorities say Cullins stabbed his brother 18 times then dumped the body.

Tampa police have not revealed a motive.

After Harris called Tampa police Detective Sal Augeri, the detective's partner went to the scene. They were already suspicious because Plant City police said the bones appeared to belong to a black man in his 20s, a description that fit Davis.

The body was indeed his, said Tampa police spokeswoman Laura McElroy, who said he was identified by dental records.

She said Cullins is a suspect, but no additional charges have been filed. He remains in the Orient Road Jail without bond, charged with second-degree murder in connection with Walters' death.

"We're looking at Derrick E. Cullins as possibly being involved in Ryan's death, but we're not ready to file further charges," McElroy said.

After Walters' body was found in April, police presumed Davis, of Tampa, was dead, but they never found a body. In May, they searched a Lithia landfill, where they thought his body might have been dumped, but they didn't find him.

On Wednesday, Augeri called Harris at work. He left a message saying they needed to talk.

That's when she knew.

"I'm glad it's over now," she said from her house Thursday, where friends gathered to comfort her.

She has met Cullins. When she and some friends were looking for Davis, they visited Cullins' home to see if he could tell them where Davis was. She believes he murdered her son, and she plans to attend his trial.

"Regardless of what the world does to him, God will do better," she said.

Bones found in Plant City belong to man, 20, missing since April 2009 02/04/10 [Last modified: Friday, February 5, 2010 12:02am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Harvey regenerates into tropical depression, sets aim on Texas coastline


    The system moving toward Texas has regenerated into Tropical Depression Harvey, prompting storm surge and hurricane watches on portions of the Lone Star State's coast, according to the National Hurricane …

    [National Hurricane Center]
  2. Top things to do in Tampa Bay this week: SNL's Pete Davidson, Rodeo Fest, Disney Halloween party


    USF ROUND-UP: Pete Davidson

    Saturday Night Live star Pete Davidson will headline this year's University of South Florida Round-Up Comedy Show, a back-to-school tradition at USF. Davidson revealed in March the reason he had "kinda been missing" for a spell last season on SNL was …

    Characters parade down Main Street, U.S.A in Mickey’s Boo-to You Halloween Parade during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom.
  3. In honor of Ed Sheeran's Tampa show, 5 more underrated redheads

    Music & Concerts

    “Is Ed Sheeran sexy?"

    Jay Cridlin, our pop music/culture critic, was on the phone with singer James Blunt, who is opening for Sheeran at Amalie Arena on Tuesday. But Jay could have been talking to anyone.

    Eddie Redmayne
  4. Plant City farmer hopes robot pickers can save strawberry industry from shrinking labor force


    PLANT CITY — If current trends continue, the region's status as a major strawberry producer will depend in large part on what happens in Mexico.

    Strawberry pickers work during the daytime, when fruit is more likely to bruise. Machine pickers can work at night. The owner of Wish Farms in Plant City is developing automated pickers and hopes to see them at work on a widespread basis in five years. [Times file]
  5. Charlie Crist asking local youth for advice on how to stop deadly car theft epidemic

    Public Safety

    ST. PETERSBURG — U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist is meeting with local children Wednesday night to get their thoughts on how to stop the deadly juvenile auto theft epidemic plaguing Pinellas County.

    From left: St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, Congressman Charlie Crist, Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri and St. Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway during a meeting earlier this year to discuss the car theft epidemic among Pinellas youth. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]