Louise Davis left her house to visit a friend 39 years ago and simply disappeared


Louise Davis Barb Davis

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The extended Davis family was particularly close; Rachel and Louise lived just down the street from their cousin Barb Davis and her family.

Barb and Louise were six months apart in age, and did almost everything together. From going to school to hanging out, Barb told Dateline spending time with Louise was easy.

On June 21, 1979, Louise was sunbathing in her yard with her mother, Lou Davis. According to family, Robert Wooten, the husband of Louise’s friend Darla, came over to speak with Louise. Robert told Louise that his wife, who had been away on a trip, had returned and wanted to see Louise.

Louise, excited to see her friend Darla, quickly left for the Wooten’s house with Robert.

Louise’s mother told her daughter to be back by 10:00 p.m., cousin Barb told Dateline. But Louise never returned home.

The next day, Louise’s sister Rachel says she and their father, Lester Ray Davis, ran into Robert Wooten while running errands. They asked where Louise was, but, says Rachel, Robert said she had run away and not to wait for her to come back.

Worried, Rachel and her father contacted the Liverpool Township Police Department later that day to report Louise missing. Police tell Dateline they then began an investigation into Louise’s whereabouts.

“We were all worried. It was like going nuts — especially her mom,” Barb told Dateline. “We went searching, and went everywhere you could think.”

According to Barb, Louise left her makeup, toothbrush and $500 in cash in her purse at home, so family felt confident Louise had not run away.

Four days later, on June 25, 1979, tragedy would strike the small town of East Liverpool, Ohio. Robert Wooten, the last person seen with Louise before she disappeared, murdered his sister-in-law Debbie Taylor and two of her children, Detective Sergeant Jared Kimemond with the Liverpool Township Police Department confirmed to Dateline. He later confessed to the crime and is serving a life sentence at the Belmont Correctional Institution on two counts of aggravated murder, and one count of murder.

When asked if he believed Louise’s disappearance was related to Robert, Sgt. Kimemond said he could not confirm that. Robert Wooten has not been named a suspect in Louise’s disappearance and denies having anything to do with the case.

“There is speculation that it could be [related], but as of having evidence of that? At this point, no. We do not have any,” Sgt. Kimemond said.

Sgt. Kimemond confirmed to Dateline that in the weeks following Robert’s confession to the murders, an anonymous letter was received by the Liverpool Township Police Department.