When a group gunned down 32-year-old British businessman Steven Davis in his apartment in the Philippines, the police had limited information concerning the man's death. The case might have faded into obscurity if not for one determined and devoted layperson-turned-detective: Margaret Davis, his mother. Her story now joins the ranks of slayings solved by regular people, including parents.
Margaret temporarily moved to the Philippines, funded a private investigation, and even provided gas money for the police when they went to interview suspects. Her efforts led to the discovery of each person who participated in the killing, including Steven's wife, Evelyn.
Without Steven's mother, the death would have remained a mystery. Margaret made sure everyone involved in her son's death would end up in prison. When all's said and done, she still managed to form a life with her grandchildren.
Here's how one mom obtained justice for her son thousands of miles away from home, despite local police pushing obstacles in her way.
Evelyn Was Apparently Having An Affair
During the last few months of Steven Davis's life, Evelyn began acting strangely. She often left the house, withheld affection, and was always on her phone. Davis's parents suspected she was seeing someone on the side. Sure enough, Evelyn had confided in her sister about seeing a security guard, Arnold Adoray, for some time.
Davis realized his wife was up to something when he took his daughter to school one day - he learned she was not enrolled there. Evelyn had spent the money meant for their daughter's education on her boyfriend and herself. Davis told his mother about Evelyn pawning his wedding ring.
Davis eventually demanded Evelyn get a job or attend college, saying he would no longer give her money.
Three Men Went On Trial For The Slaying
Police in the Philippines finally acted when faced with evidence from the private investigation; they took into custody three men: Arnold Adoray, Robin Butas, and Alexander Dagami. The court found all of them guilty of the killing or other related offenses. The killers faced a prison sentence, except for Butas, who helped police with the investigation as a state witness.
One of the men was Evelyn's boyfriend, Arnold Adoray, which strengthened Margaret Davis's theory about her daughter-in-law's involvement with her son's death. She'd noted that Evelyn had not cried at the funeral, and didn't appear surprised to learn about her husband's untimely death. Davis and her husband Alan, Steven's stepfather, also recalled how Evelyn had encouraged them to say goodbye to their son when they last visited him.
While the three men were on trial for the shooting, Davis couldn't shake the idea that Evelyn was involved as well. Eventually, Butas spoke up, and Davis learned she was right.
Evelyn Was A Former Sex Worker
Steven Davis met Evelyn while she was dancing in a club, employed as a sex worker. Evelyn felt embarrassed by what she felt forced to do, especially since she began at 13 years old. She hoped to meet a kind, wealthy man who would take her away from such a life, and that's when Davis stepped into the picture.
Evelyn was only 17 but lied and said she was 21, even giving him a fake ID. Before long, Davis paid £500 so she could leave the club, promising she'd never need to resort to sex work again.
After the two married, Davis gave Evelyn a regular allowance, which she sent home to her family. Whenever Evelyn's family visited, Davis bought things for his in-laws and their neighbors. He also allegedly liked to buy gifts for her friends and party with them.
Evelyn Eventually Went On Trial, Too
While her son's shooters were in prison, Margaret Davis remained dissatisfied. She still believed Evelyn was either the mastermind behind her son's death or somehow involved. Evelyn's family agreed, helping Davis with her research.
One of the men who broke into the apartment, Robin Butas, said he was willing to give details about what happened in exchange for leniency. According to Butas, Evelyn had not only planned the whole thing, but was also waiting in the car as the men rushed in to kill Steven Davis. He said Evelyn told them about the apartment and gave them the keys.
With this testimony, Davis knew she could finally obtain justice for her son. Evelyn had gone into hiding, but the police found and arrested her for the killing. Davis attended Evelyn's trial.
Davis told reporters she took no joy in seeing her former daughter-in-law behind bars, as she only wanted justice.