UPDATE: Woman Sentenced For Giving False Information In Jaleayah Davis Case

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UPDATE: 5/16/2013 5:39 PM

A Marietta woman will spend six months in jail after making false reports to police about the death of Jaleayah Davis.

Ember Stafford pleaded guilty on Thursday to filing a false report.

She told police she saw Jaleayah the night of her death and witnessed the accident. In her report, she says another car forced Jaleayah's off the road, causing the wreck.

After police spent over 30 hours investigating the claims, Stafford admitted to lying about the whole thing.

Jaleayah's mother, Kim, was in the courtroom Thursday. She says she's not upset with Stafford's false reports and still believes her daughter was murdered.

The sheriff's office closed the case this year, stating her death was the result of an accident.

Stafford also has to pay a 500 dollar fine.
UPDATE: 3/21/2013

It's been over a year, and now the case is closed. Officials are releasing what happened to Jaleayah Davis.

The autopsy results came back last week, after being reviewed by the State Medical Examiners Office. Wood County Sheriff's deputies and the prosecutor spoke with the family Thursday, before releasing the results to us.

It took more than a year.
This is the official explanation closing the Jaleayah Davis case:

"Following a lengthy investigation it was concluded by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of the State of West Virginia that Ms. Davis died as a result of multiple catastrophic injuries sustained as an unrestrained driver of a car that lost control and struck a guardrail post on Interstate 77," says Wood County Sheriff Office Chief Shawn Graham.

That's how investigators say Jaleayah Davis died in November 2011.

"The death circumstances as determined by investigative and postmortem findings indicate the manner of death was accident."

An accident that began with a night of partying with friends. The state medical examiner says Jaleayah's blood alcohol concentration was point 19 when she died. With advance testing showing a level of point 24 earlier that night.

"Just another tragic example that drinking and driving is something that is very dangerous and unfortunately leads to a lot of people losing their lives."

Kia Motors engineers, crash testing experts, and medical evidence detail the accident. They say it started with her driving along I-77 and hitting a guardrail.

"The result of the vehicle striking the guardrail caused Ms Davis to be ejected from the passenger side front window. This finding is supported by the fact the door post to the passenger side door was cracked and samples taken from this post were tested and found as a positive match of Ms. Davis' DNA. After exiting the vehicle, Ms. Davis struck the guardrail and the force of the collision sent Ms. Davis over her vehicle and into the traffic lane of I-77. After Ms. Davis came to rest in the travel lane of I-77, she was struck by a tractor trailer."

Police believe Jaleayah was killed instantly when she was thrown from the car.

"She was deceased before she was hit by the tractor trailer. There was physical evidence on the scene that lead us to that conclusion."

Rumors. Speculation. Foul play. All part of the community controversy surrounding the case. Investigators believe the evidence rules it out and points to Jaleayah being the only person in the car.

"The fact the drivers side airbag deployed, and the passenger side airbag did not deploy was another key factor to lead us to the conclusion that this was a tragic single vehicle accident that resulted in the death of this young lady."

They say another key factor in the case is how her car was found. It was found running with all the doors locked.

Deputies say this case is closed and hope the community and the family will come to peace with those results.

"We hope the conclusion of this investigation makes a lot of people realize what this was and that it was a horrible tragic accident."

WTAP has reached out to the family for comment. Requests were not immediately returned.

Update: 3/12/2013 10:45 A.M.

An autopsy has been completed on the death 17 months ago of a Marietta woman.

But Chief Deputy Shawn Graham of the Wood County Sheriff's Office says the results will not be released until he meets with members of the victim's family and the Wood County Prosecutor.

Jaleayah Davis died in an accident in the early morning hours of November 19, 2011. But the details of the accident have been a mystery, and it has been under investigation since then.

UPDATE: 11/19/2012 10:34 PM

"But it's definitely heartbreaking. Definitely hard for people to accept the fact that she was so young when she passed away. It's just really hard for everybody. That's how I would describe it," says Davis' friend Ali Strahler.

One year ago Jaleayah Davis died in a car accident on I77. There's still little known about the events leading up to her death.

Since then, family and friends have been desperately seeking answers.

"It's definitely hard. It's mindblowing that it's been a year and there's still no answers. Especially people that were with her that night and haven't said anything. It's just crazy that somebody's life was taken away from them so innocently. And if there's just any way for anyone to say what might of happened that would probably put a lot of people's minds at ease, and help her family sleep at night and keep going on with their lives. It's just hard for people to go on without answers and have no idea what happened," says Strahler.

They join to remember the young woman and show support for the family still dealing with the loss.

Some of Davis' closest friends organized a vigil to bring beauty and light to a sad situation.

"When I woke up this (Monday) morning I had a very empty feeling in my chest. My heart went out to the Davis family completely. I was hoping that this event would actually help them feel like just because it's been a year it's not being forgotten. People still are seeking for justice and supporting her family 100 %," says Strahler.

The Wood County Sheriff's Office says they are continuing the process of investigation in Davis' death.

UPDATE: 11/02/2012 2:19 PM

A woman tells police she was an eyewitness to the events leading up to the death of Jaleayah Davis, and now she's behind bars for lying.

Deputies arrested Ember Stafford on Thursday for falsely reporting an emergency incident.

She faces charges in Washington County for being a fugitive from justice.

The Wood County Sheriff's Office says Stafford told them she was an eye witness to the events surrounding the death of Davis a year ago.

Police say she falsely accused several people and as a result, the sheriff's office spent many hours following bogus leads.

Polygraph operators also spent about 30 hours interviewing those people.

She's awaiting extradition to Wood County.

The Wood County Sheriff's Office says they are continuing the process of investigation in Davis' death.
UPDATE: 01/09/2012 5:14 PM

A case that's still not closed, but may be one step closer.

Jaleayah Davis' car is now back from the lab in Charleston.

Officials aren't releasing any details about their findings as the investigation is still ongoing, but Wood County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Don Dougherty says they plan on sending specific evidence to the FBI.

"The vehicle involved in the crash has been returned to us. We have some evidence that needs to go to the FBI lab to be reviewed. We're waiting on some reports back from our CIB lab in the state on their examinations."

Anyone with information is asked to contact the sheriff's office and ask for Detective Camille Waldron at 304-424-1834.

UPDATE: 12/26/2011 7:45 PM

While many of us were enjoying time with our families this Christmas, the Davis' are still grieving.

"We didn't have Christmas. There was no Christmas. There was nothing for us to celebrate. Jaleayah wasn't there, " Kim Davis, Jaleayah's mother said.

Jaleayah Davis was killed on November 19th after her car and body were found on Interstate 77. Although it's been a little over month, the family recalls the nights events like it was yesterday.
"Taubi called and she said, Jaleayah's dead...Jaleayah's dead." Kim remembers.

While the Sheriff's Office is still investigating to determine if a crime was committed or if it was an accident, the Davis family is convinced someone killed Jaleayah.
"This was not an accident. This was absolutely, absolutely not an accident," Kim says.

The family is still asking for help from anyone who knows what happened that horrible evening.
Kim says about her daughter, "Jaleayah never deserved anything like this. Jaleayah never did anything to anybody to hurt anybody. She was so sweet."

Remembering the beautiful 19 year old woman by the smell of her lotion, her sister and best friend, Taubi, found a way to feel a little bit closer to Jaleayah.

"So every night before I go to sleep I put it on, and it smells like her. So it's like she's sleeping with me every night. and I have her pictures all over my room," Taubi shares.

For now a family tries to cope with their loss, but knows closure may never come.

"People say it's supposed to get easier. It doesn't. It just gets harder. I loved her so much," Kim says.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the sheriff's office and ask for Detective Camille Waldron at 304-424-1834.

UPDATE: Monday, November 28th 2:15pm

The car involved in an accident that left a Marietta woman dead is on its way to the West Virginia State Lab in Charleston.

Authorities from Wood County sheriff's Office loaded the car into a trailer Monday morning and sent it down to Charleston for further investigation.

Details surround the accident that killed 20 year old Jaleayah Davis are scarce but officials confirm the accident is being investigated as suspicious.

anyone with tips or insight into what may have happened the morning of the accident is asked to get in touch with the Wood County Sheriff's Office at 304-424-1834 or the Suspicious Activity Hotline at 304- 834- 3909. All tips can be left anonymously.
Wood County Sheriff Jeff Sandy says the West Virginia Medical Examiner has confirmed Jaleayah Davis as the victim of the Saturday morning accident along Interstate 77.

In a special press release, Sheriff Sandy says, "The Wood County Sheriff’s Office has received notification from the West Virginia Chief Medical Examiners office today at 11:25 AM that the deceased female that was found on Interstate 77 near the 181 mile make has been identified as Jaleayah Rose Davis DOB 11/02/91. There is no additional information available to be released at this time."
UPDATED: Monday, November 21, 10:30 PM

Authorities are still not releasing the name of the woman in a fatal accident this week but friends and family have identified her as Jaleayah Davis.

Friends of Jaleayah Davis gathered to share memories and prayers for Jaleayah and her family.

"Her smile and her laugh... that was her... that was Jaleayah," says friends of Jaleayah

The sudden death of their friend that they knew and loved... has left many looking for answers about what happened that tragic Saturday morning.

The Wood County Sheriff's Office says the Washington County female was found dead around four a-m Saturday morning on Interstate I-77 near mile marker 181.

They say the female was hit by a vehicle and sustained multiple traumatic injuries.

"When I found out, my heart just sank, I called my mom and just started tearing up."
"Yeah I haven't cried in years and that day... was the first time in a long time," say friends of the victim.

A time not easy for anyone and authorities say the accident is being investigated as suspicious.

Jaleayah once lived in Williamstown then moving to Marietta and friends from both sides of the river say they will never forget her intriguing qualities.

"Whenever she was there... you knew she was there, and her smile... her smile it lit up the room, it just lit up the room," friends remembered of Jaleayah.
"All I remember is her cute little laugh that I won't ever forget it, it will pound in my head for the rest of my life."
"She really brightened up the room when she was there."
"Happy, happy... happy."

And while they laughed and shared the good memories, it was easy to see the tears being held back.

And when asked why they were there to talk about an old friend... the answer was quick.. and easy.

"Because we love Jaleayah." "To show support," says her friends. "She deserves this." "I feel as a friend we all represent her now, and I know she's watching us."

Friends say shirts will be sold for donations to the family through a facebook group that has been started called Justice for Jaleayah, a place to remember and honor both her and her family.
"We love you guys."

Donations for the family are also being accepted at People's Bank in Marietta.

UPDATE: 11/20/2011 7:37 PM

The investigation into Saturday morning accident along 77 that claimed the life of a Washington County woman is ongoing and the Wood County Sheriff's Office is asking anyone with information to come forward.

Sergeant B.A. Pickens says the deputies were out once again last night investigating the accident and looking for answers.

The Sergeant says shortly before4 :00 Saturday morning, deputies arrived on the scene of an accident near mile marker 181. He says the female was struck by a vehicle and sustained multiple traumatic injuries adding that the victim's car was found against the guardrail north of where her body was located.

The accident is being investigated as suspicious.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Wood County Sheriff's Office at 304-424-1834.

Tips may be left anonymously.
UPDATE: 11/19/2011 8:38 PM

According to Wood County Sheriff's Office, Sergeant B.A. Pickens, the Marietta resident and female killed, was struck by a vehicle and sustained multiple traumatic injuries.

He adds that the females car was found against the guardrail north of where her body was located.

Deputies and detectives have been working around the clock to put the pieces together in the crash that is being investigated as suspicious in nature.

Interstate 77 was closed for about 5 hours Saturday morning.

The accident is still under investigation.


According to Wood County Sheriff Jeff Sandy, deputies arrived around 4:00 am to the scene of an accident around mile marker 181.

One female is confirmed dead, but her name is not being released until the family is notified.

The Wood County Crash Team is currently conducting an investigation into the cause of the accident.

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