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Police: Pregnant woman's body found; cop arrested

Story Highlights

• NEW: Jessie Davis' body found in county park adjacent to national park
Father of Davis' son in custody, faces 2 murder counts
Davis, 26, near term, hadn't been heard from since June 13
Hundreds of volunteers helped in search
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CANTON, Ohio (CNN) -- Authorities believe they recovered the body of Jessie Marie Davis, a pregnant Ohio woman missing for 10 days, Saturday, and a police officer with whom Davis had a relationship was arrested in connection with her disappearance, police said.

Canton police patrolman Bobby Cutts Jr., 30, was facing two murder counts in the deaths of Davis, 26, and her unborn child, said Rick Perez, chief deputy of the Stark County sheriff's department.

Cutts fathered Davis' 2-year-old son, Blake, and was also the likely father of her unborn child, a girl she planned to call Chloe. Davis was nearly nine months pregnant when she was last heard from June 13. She was due July 3. (Watch police announce discovery of body Video)

The body was recovered in adjacent Summit County about 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Perez said, but he would not provide further details. A police statement acknowledged the assistance of the National Park Service, but police would not say what assistance was provided.

The FBI said the body was was in the area of Cuyahoga Valley National Park in northern Summit County. A park spokesperson told CNN affiliate WKYC and the Akron Beacon Journal that it was recovered in Hampton Hills Metro Park, part of the county park system that is adjacent to the national park. (Map)

Video footage from CNN affiliate WKYC showed aerials of a wooded area and what appeared to be a body in a bag placed onto a stretcher and loaded into an ambulance. Evidence technicians appeared to be working in a field.

Cutts was arrested Saturday afternoon, Perez said. Cutts is scheduled to appear Monday for arraignment in Canton Municipal Court. (Listen to Cutts discuss the investigation June 19 Video)

Stark County Prosecutor John Ferrero told reporters it was too early to say whether the case warrants the death penalty. "The charges could get elevated to a higher degree down the road."

Citing an ongoing investigation, police would divulge little regarding the case. They would not comment on whether additional arrests are expected, but said they continue to solicit tips by telephone and through the sheriff's department Web site.

Davis' family did not appear at an afternoon news conference where police announced the developments.

"They're grieving in private," said family attorney Rick Pitinii.

Asked their thoughts on the arrest, he said, "I think this whole process for them has been more about finding her -- instead of who is or is not at fault or at blame."

Detectives had searched the home of Cutts at least twice earlier this week.

The investigation started last week when Davis' mother, Patricia Porter, alerted police after she was unable to contact her daughter. When the mother went to the home, she found Davis' 2-year-old son, Blake, wandering in an empty house.

Police said furniture was broken, a lamp was toppled and bleach had been spilled on the floor, although there were no signs of forced entry. Davis' car keys and purse were in the home, but her cell phone and a comforter were missing.

Police said earlier that Blake told authorities that his mother was crying, she had broken a table and was "in the rug."

In an earlier interview with the local Canton Repository newspaper, Cutts denied any involvement in Davis' disappearance. He acknowledged that he was married, but said he was separated from his wife and that she was aware of his relationship with Davis.

Canton Police Chief Dean McKimm said Saturday that because Cutts is a police officer, he has given his department a "black eye" in the eyes of the local community as well as the nation. He urged people not to be too quick to judge the "isolated acts" of one "rogue officer."

Authorities earlier said Cutts had been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the search for Davis.

Thousands of volunteers had shown up to help search for Davis' body, an effort organized by EquuSearch, a Texas-based nonprofit organization.


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Investigators comb an area in a park in Summit County, Ohio, where a body was found Saturday afternoon.

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