Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Officer Thought Child Was 'Hiding' ; Trial Now Underway for Davis, Charged with Capital Murder

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Officer Thought Child Was 'Hiding' ; Trial Now Underway for Davis, Charged with Capital Murder

Article excerpt

When a Topeka police officer first spotted Ahliyah Nachelle Irvin, he thought the 8-year-old child was hiding in a clothes dryer filled with garments, the officer testified Monday.

"I could see dark wavy hair and the right shoulder of the victim," officer Michael Ahlstedt said. He spoke to her, tapped her on the shoulder and nudged her.

When she didn't respond, he moved some clothes, which blocked extricating her from the dryer.

Ahlstedt was the first witness to testify during the capital murder case of Billy Frank Davis Jr., who is charged with the kidnapping, slaying and rape of Irvin on March 13, 2012. If convicted, Davis could face the death penalty.

"I tried to get her out of the dryer," Ahlstedt told 12 jurors and five alternate jurors. "I was able to scoop her out."

He laid her on the basement floor of a southeast Topeka apartment building and started performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the child.

She didn't respond, then a second officer joined Ahlstedt, and the officers did two-person CPR. Meanwhile, Davis fled the apartment.

Ahlstedt first went to 2421 S.E. Bellview, then was directed to an apartment at 2413 S.E. Bellview, where Davis told Ahlstedt and Officer Jared Strathman the girl wasn't in the apartment. But Davis gave consent to Ahlstedt to search the apartment.

Ahlstedt, carrying a flashlight, went downstairs to the darkened basement, glanced around and was about to go back upstairs when he spotted a washer and dryer. He decided to check the appliances and found the girl's body.

Strathman hurried to the basement when he heard Ahlstedt transmit he had found the child. Strathman first saw the girl when Ahlstedt pulled aside a blanket to reveal the victim lying in a fetal position in the dryer.

Meanwhile, Davis went upstairs and exited the house through the front door, Strathman said.

Officer Brandon Austin testified the kidnapper entered the apartment by lifting aside a metal grate, then opened a basement level window and went upstairs to the living room where the child and three other people were asleep. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.