Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s deputies have arrested another suspect in the ongoing investigation into the death of Jarrod Blake Davidson, the UCSB graduate student who was murdered in front of his Goleta apartment in July 2004.
Kelee Davidson, the victim’s ex-wife, was arrested in Grover Beach at 9:15 p.m. on Thursday. Sheriff’s Dept. spokesman Sgt. Erik Raney said Davidson was arrested at the house of her mother and father, Malinda and Philip Jones, who were charged with Davidson’s murder in January. Raney said all three are currently being held without bail at the Santa Barbara County Jail on felony charges of first degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder. The preliminary hearing setting date for the suspects has been postponed until early May.
Jarrod Davidson, a 27-year-old organic chemistry teaching assistant, was shot in front of his home July 9, 2004, and died en route to the hospital. At the time of his murder, witnesses reported seeing a man and woman fleeing the crime scene.
Raney said the investigation into Davidson’s death has remained open since Malinda Jones was arrested Jan. 6, after deputies found evidence linking her to the murder. Philip Jones was arrested Jan. 25. Raney said Davidson’s arrest was based on information collected throughout the course of the investigation.
“The information that led to the warrant which was issued was information we’ve compiled from the beginning of the investigation until today,” Raney said.
Davidson was arrested shortly after dropping off her four-year-old daughter Malia – also the victim’s daughter – at the child’s great-grandparents’ house, Raney said.
“It was good for us that she’d already taken care of the child, otherwise we would have had to call Child Protective Services or find one of her grandparents ourselves,” he said.
Raney said the Davidson case is still an ongoing investigation, and anyone with information regarding the case can call the Sheriff’s Detective Bureau at (805) 681-4150.
‘We’re still taking in leads and following up on them,” Raney said. “If anyone else is discovered regarding this investigation, we’ll definitely pursue those and file charges if necessary.”