CEDAR FALLS — One person has been arrested in connection with the death of a Cedar Falls hunter whose body was found near Rathbun Lake.
Authorities have filed first-degree murder charges against Ethan Landon Davis, 27, of Promise City, in the death of 31-year-old Curtis Ross, according to court records.
Davis appeared Wednesday in Appanoose County District Court, where a judge set his bail at $1 million. Davis did not enter a plea. A message left with his court-appointed public defender, Kenneth Duker, was not immediately returned Wednesday.
Ross had traveled to Appanoose County on Nov. 23 to retrieve hunting equipment he had previously set out, and he was reported missing Nov. 25 after he failed to return to a home where he had been staying.
His truck was discovered near the entrance to the Rathbun Lake hunting area, and his body was found later that day. An autopsy determined he had been shot and stabbed numerous times.
Investigators found ammunition and magazines in the area where the body was found, as well as spent shell casings from a rifle and a large amount of blood.
Fingerprints on some of the items pointed to Davis, according to court records, and authorities searched his Promise City mobile home, which sat on more than 400 acres of property belonging to his parents.
Authorities also found Davis’ vehicle hidden, and tests found traces of blood, records state. They found a rifle hidden under farm equipment on a remote area of the property, and the weapon had blood and Davis’ fingerprints, records state. Ballistics tests showed casings from the scene matched the rifle, records state.
Court records indicate Ross was killed Nov. 24, possibly sometime between noon and midnight.
Davis was arrested for an unrelated burglary, willful injury and child endangerment charges Nov. 25 in connection with a separate attack and has been in jail since.
Authorities said on the same day Ross was killed — Nov. 24 — Davis broke into a Seymour home around 11:45 a.m. and beat Jarvis Kennebeck on the side of the face with a 9 mm pistol. He then fired the handgun while holding his own 20-month-old son, records state.
An attorney for Davis’ parents said in court records Davis was trying to remove the child from the mother’s care because she used drugs. Davis’ parents are petitioning the court for guardianship of the child.