A week before
an employee of a Longwood-area used car lot was kidnapped, raped and strangled, a team of officers participating in a state Department of Corrections probation sweep missed a chance to arrest the suspect in the case
, who was wanted on a warrant for violating his parole from state prison.
A state probations officer, Orange County deputy sheriff and three Orlando police officers were looking for someone else when they encountered William R. Davis III on Oct. 22, Orange County sheriff's Capt. Angelo L. Nieves said.
The officers found Davis outside the residence and talked to him. He gave his name, but a fake birth date, Nieves said. The officers were unable to establish any reason to arrest him, Nieves said. They found about 90 people with the name William Davis, but the date of birth they were given didn't match any of them.
The officers had no authority to even question Davis. "Every ting was consensual," he said. Davis even consented to have his fingerprints checked, but he did not show up in the Orange County database
, Nieves said.
Nieves insists no one did anything wrong.
"The team exhausted several avenues and attempts to identify William Davis to their satisfaction, but at the time they could not find any information which would have led to any further action," he said.
According to the arrest affidavit, Davis told investigators he forced Malave at knife-point into her vehicle and then drove it to the Post Time Lounge where he forced Malave into the back seat of his SUV.
He said he drove to his home on Elinore Drive in the Pine Hills area, forced the woman inside and raped her in his bedroom. He told investigators he then choked her to death.
Davis said he wrapped the body in a blanket, put her back in his SUV and drove back to the Post Time.
A deputy was at the car lot taking a report about Malave being missing when employees saw Davis drive past the business
. Jose Hernandez, owner of the car lot, said he kept looking at the highway in front of his business, "hoping I would see Fabiana passing through." Instead, he saw Davis' SUV, easily recognizable by a large dent on a door, he said.
The deputy thought he meant another SUV that passed by at the same time, so they were looking for the wrong vehicle
, Hernandez said.
Hernandez jumped in a car and started looking for Davis's vehicle. He spotted it at the Post Time, flagged down a deputy sheriff parked nearby and then sped around to block in the vehicle.
"It was the longest 30 seconds for me," he said of waiting for the deputy to arrive. And when he did get there, the deputy seemed more concerned about how Hernandez was acting and driving than Davis, Hernandez said.
Hernandez said when he first reached Davis, he acted like nothing had happened. "Tell me where the girl is," Hernandez asked over and over.
But when the deputy arrived, Davis stared at the group and spoke in a quiet voice, telling the officer "I have to tell you something," Hernandez said. "I think you should put me in the [patrol] car" he told the deputy, according to Hernandez. More deputies arrived and Malave's body was located in the back of Davis' SUV.
Davis, an Army veteran, has a violent past that includes allegations of rape and other physical abuse.
In 2003 he was accused of breaking into his ex-girlfriend's home and raping the 22-year-old,, but she didn't want to prosecute. He was placed on five years' probation and ordered to get mental-health treatment after pleading guilty to a burglary charge, said Chip Thullbery, a spokesman for the State Attorney's Office.
Six months after the first assault, he attacked his ex-girlfriend again, records show.
As a result, in 2005 Davis, was sentenced to five years in prison for aggravated assault, armed false imprisonment and probation violation, followed by 10 years of probation, Thullbery said.
During the legal proceedings, a Polk County court found Davis to be insane
, Thullbery said.
Davis served a little more than 85 percent of his prison sentence -- the minimum required under Florida law -- and was released Sept. 30, 2008.
New details uncovered by the Orlando Sentinel on Monday show Davis' arrest history goes beyond the Polk County cases.
Records show he has convictions out of North Carolina in the late 1990s and 2000 for assault on an officer or state employee, burglary, safecracking and motor vehicle theft. Davis served prison time in North Carolina for year and a half, state records show.
Records also show Davis has been arrested on charges of credit card theft, credit card fraud and possession of stolen property.