On September 16th, 1973 Cora Lee Davis went missing from Mangum. She was ten years old.
Cora had been on her way to the local grocery store a few blocks from her home on a Sunday afternoon when she went missing, however she never returned home, and whether she actually made it to the store is unknown. When she failed to come home and her bicycle was found behind the store without a trace of Cora to be found, her mother called the police.
Authorities would tell the newspapers that they were doing everything they could to find the girl, the FBI even looked into the case, however because there was no evidence Cora had gone over state lines, the FBI had no jurisdiction. Cora’s mother, Bertha, would publicly state she believed the authorities weren’t doing much to find her daughter.
On October 1, 1973 authorities announced that decomposed remains found in a field about four miles northeast of Mangum were those of little Cora. It’s believed she had been dumped in the tall weeds she was found in after she was killed. Her skull had been crushed.
Authorities faced an uphill battle in the case from the get go. There were few leads and even less evidence. One of the only witnesses was a service station attendant who reported that he saw a 1959 or 1961 light colored Chevy Impala that was carrying an African American male and a Caucasian male, that appeared to chase or follow who he believed to be Cora on her bicycle. It’s believed this vehicle had 1973 Texas license plates and was dusty or muddy.
After October, Cora’s disappearance and murder mostly drop from media accounts. Then in January 1974 the sheriff and district attorney stated in a newspaper interview they considered Cora’s case virtually closed. They had apparently come up with an unnamed suspect who was serving a two year sentence in prison for an unrelated crime.
As far as I can tell, charges against this unnamed man were never filed.
If you know anything about the kidnapping and murder of Cora Lee Davis, please contact the Greer County Sheriff’s Department at 580-782-3065