Pennsylvania State Police Capt. Steven Junkin appealed for the public's help again on Friday in a news conference about the fatal death of Timothy Davison, 28, but there is something more needed in this case than just details about a suspect. But we will get to that in a minute. The Maine man was on his way back home after visiting family in Orlando when someone in a Ford Ranger XLT ran him off the Pennsylvania's I-81, according to a Jan. 10 Fox News report. But distressingly, an emergency phone call the victim was on at the time of his first distress was also dropped as he crossed state lines.
The suspect's vehicle is believed to be damaged, and the driver was not believed to have been provoked by Davison prior to the murder. But now police only have half the story due to the dropped call.
The 911 tape made of Davison reporting that someone was chasing him has not been released to the public. But that is not surprising considering police are also keeping details to themselves about the way in which the victim was murdered, so it makes sense they are not releasing a 911 call either, especially since it ended up not being completed with the victim by the emergency services operator.
It is an all too-common problem in our society that crimes which occur along interstate roadways lead to complicated cases. In this instance, one state (Maryland) first received the 911 distress call, sending an officer to respond to the man in trouble. But as the parties crossed over into Pennsylvania, the emergency call was dropped, leaving no recorded record of the last minutes of Timothy Davison's life, or any details or sounds that could aid investigators now in finding his killer.
Unlike the national IAFIS (Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System) or NCIC (National Crime Information Center), there is no national 911 service that can make for a smooth transition for emergency calls when victims on the road cross state lines during travel. And that only serves to aid criminals and hinder those in need of quick help from law enforcement.
A lack of a national 911 interstate service capability also hinders an investigation, as there is no data recordings of Davison's last words about what took place, when he might have been able to share important details about his killer with a 911 worker. And there is no sounds recorded of the killer as well, which could tie him to the crime scene also.
In this case, Timothy Davison tried to notify authorities that someone was trying to harm him on the roadway. He made contact, and the argument can be made that he should not have lost that contact by crossing state lines right after that. But he did. And while a Maryland officer eventually caught up to that crime scene, and found his dead body in Pennsylvania, the evidence that the last moments of his life could have provided through that verbal communication and sound archive are now lost forever.
Pennsylvania State Police now need the help of the public in locating the person responsible for the death of this 28-year-old Maine man fleeing for his life on I-81 when he was run off the road. And you can help by contacting PA Crime Stoppers at 1-800-4PA-TIPS, (800) 472-8477. You can also help by writing your congressional leaders and petitioning them to help see funding is made available for the creation of a national 911 agency for crimes like this.
Atlanta Top News Examiner Radell Smith has a degree in criminal justice and behavioral forensics. Follow her on Twitter at CrimeProfiler1.