Man charged with murder 10 years after woman's body found

Wednesday, June 22, 2011 at 6:04pm
Davis.jpg
Kenneth Ray Davis 

More than 10 years after the nude body of then-25-year-old Christina Yvonne Parham turned up in East Nashville, cold case detectives arrested Wednesday the man they believe killed her.

Detectives arrested over-the-road truck driver Kenneth Ray Davis, of Pennock Avenue, on a first-degree murder charge following a grand jury indictment returned Tuesday. Police arrested Davis, 54, on Space Park North in Goodlettsville Wednesday morning as he parked a tractor-trailer rig after a trip to Laredo, Texas.

Davis is being held in a Metro jail in lieu of $1 million bond.

Parham’s body was found on the morning of Dec. 1, 2000, on the side of the road in the 1500 block of Dugger Drive in East Nashville. Police said Parham, of Granada Avenue, was involved in prostitution and had apparently been thrown from a moving vehicle. The medical examiner later determined she had died from asphyxiation.

Police entered DNA evidence recovered from Parham’s body into the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System computer database. When Davis’ DNA was later cross-referenced in the system following an aggravated rape conviction in Shelby County, it allegedly matched the evidence collected in the Parham case.

Police said a recent DNA sample collected from Davis confirmed the match, but Davis wouldn’t admit to Parham’s murder during an interview with detectives.

The FBI has been notified of Davis’ arrest, and since he has worked as a truck driver for the last seven years, authorities are looking into his involvement in any other homicides in the Nashville area or elsewhere.

Metro police also arrested Davis in June 2002 on a harassment charge, for which he later was found guilty and received a nine-month sentence.