Waco police arrest suspect in 30-year-old cold case, murder of woman

Posted at 6:30 PM, Jun 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-21 23:09:43-04

Waco police said a man has been arrested in the 30-year-old cold case and murder of 28-year-old Rita Davis.

Davis was found dead on September 22, 1991, missing her pants and underwear near 7th and McKinney. She was with Harold Givens and two other friends the night before, according to police.

"They were smoking crack cocaine when Davis and Givens got into a fight, the two friends then left Davis and Givens and when they returned both the victim and suspect were gone," said police. "An autopsy was conducted and found that Davis died due to blunt force injuries of the head, a hemorrhage to the neck and a sexual assault examination was conducted found sperm."

A detective in 1991 collected blood samples and a saliva swab from Givens but due to technology at the time were not able to connect the samples and an arrest was not made.

Additionally, interviews with Givens and the two friends turned conflicted information. Givens and the first friend stated they got into the fight on Tuesday, September 17, and the second friend stated it was on Saturday, the night before she was found dead.

"This case went cold, and a 2006 Detective later retested the samples using advanced DNA techniques where major profiling came back consistent with Davis and minor profiling consistent with Givens," said police.

A cold-case detective and special crimes detective re-interviewed Givens and let him know his original statement of only oral sex was not truthful and DNA results show there was vaginal intercourse.

"Givens then stated he became angry with Davis because she wanted more crack cocaine and he hit her with a closed fist multiple times," said police.

Givens was arrested without incident, at his home in Waco on Tuesday.

"The Waco Police Department would like to acknowledge the previous work done by the assigned detectives in 1991, 1992 and 2006," said police. "Without their initial investigative work an arrest would not have been able to be made today."