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UNIDENTIFIED

Arm tattoo helps identify dismembered body stuffed into different buckets

On the importance of databases

Posted on April 22, 2022

Updated on April 26, 2022

Unidentified
This tatoo on homicide victim Sheldon Prawl's left arm led to his positive identification. Contributed photo

This tatoo on homicide victim Sheldon Prawl's left arm led to his positive identification. Contributed photo

Sheldon Prawl

Sheldon Prawl

This tatoo on homicide victim Sheldon Prawl's left arm led to his positive identification. Contributed photo

This tatoo on homicide victim Sheldon Prawl's left arm led to his positive identification. Contributed photo

Sheldon Prawl

Sheldon Prawl

Sheldon Prawl
This tatoo on homicide victim Sheldon Prawl's left arm led to his positive identification. Contributed photo

Carlton Davis

Carlton Davis

Cheri Davis

Cheri Davis

Richard Jackson

Richard Jackson

Carlton Davis

Carlton Davis

Cheri Davis

Cheri Davis

This week’s case is about remains found in Rocky Mount a year ago.

During my research, I found that a case hadn’t been created in NamUs.

Read that story by clicking this sentence.

Entering cases into the available databases is an important step for investigators to take in missing person and unidentified body cases.

Here’s a story that involved both, and what I did to fix an oversight by detectives.

Sheldon Prawl went missing from his girlfriend’s home in Jacksonville on Halloween 2013. Seven months later his dismembered remains were found in two different buckets in Detroit.

When Sheldon was a missing person, law enforcement released information that he had a tattoo on his left forearm of the words “R.I.P. Deisha” and the dates “6-23-81 - 4-7-09.”

He could have remained indefinitely unidentified because local police didn’t enter the tattoo details into NCIC, an electronic clearinghouse of crime data that can be tapped into by virtually every criminal justice agency nationwide.

However, I had set up a Google alert for the tattoo information. 

When Detroit police released information on a dismembered unidentified body found in buckets filled with concrete they included that the body had the Deisha tattoo.

The Detroit police had no idea to whom the body belonged and Jacksonville police had no idea their missing person had been found piecemeal in Michigan.

I was able to put the two agencies together by letting local detectives know about the tattoo.

Authorities charged a Georgia man with Sheldon’s murder.

Carleton Edwin Davis Jr. 35, of Snellville, Georgia, who as it turns out is the brother of Sheldon’s girlfriend Cheri Davis.

Carlton Davis was convicted in 2018 of second-degree murder and concealing evidence in an unattended death case. He’s serving a 48 year sentence.

Richard Grady Jackson pleaded guilty in the concealment of Prawl’s death. A friend of Carlton Davis, Jackson lived in Detroit where the body was found - after a neighbor complained of a terrible odor coming from his garage.

Carlton Davis and Jackson were busted in 2015 for running drugs from Detroit to North Carolina.

Cheri Davis has been charged with concealing a body, conspiracy and intimidating a witness. She has a trial date set in August.

Cheri Davis reported Prawl missing Nov. 4, 2013. She said Sheldon left her South Shore Drive on Halloween after an argument.

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